By Phil Schipper / July 31st, 2013
WARNING: SPOILERS for Tales of Symphonia abound! If you don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading. You have been warned.
For the second stream in the Tales of Symphonia playthrough, I brought in a new cast and a new setup so that we could get a little more variety in. For comic relief’s sake, I even gave the first controller to someone who had never even heard of the game until now.
Needless to say, before long the situation went beyond comic relief and into the realm of actually having a problem. After leaving the Seal of Fire (the dungeon we finished last time), we basically wandered the desert and bickered for the next 15 minutes before finally settling on our first destination: the Ossa Trail, gateway towards the east coast and eventual passage to the second seal.
When we actually entered the trail, though, we were attacked by a rather attractive ninja. Luckily, she fell through a trap door—right around the time we were distracted by the ice cream truck going by. Someone ran off to get the ice cream, and returned by the time the area had been finished.
The problem is, now all of us were trying to play the game while eating ice cream. That resulted in some major problems throughout the Ossa Trail, eventually culminating in our death when the ninja came back to get us.
And guess what? We hadn’t saved in a while! Again. What the hell? It took us another 10 minutes or so to skip through cutscenes and make our way back through the area, where we actually gave it our all and, with the help of a decent amount of items and a liberal amount of throwing enemies on the ground, we finally managed to defeat the Clumsy Assassin.
One cave full of treasure, several cutscenes, a minigame and a pizza later, we got to the place where we could actually get sailing over to the eastern continent. There, in Palmacosta, we ran into a bunch of annoying jerks who bumped into us and demanded we replace their potion. It took a few minutes, but once we found the shop we had plenty of money to buy it. All in all we were in and out of Palmacosta in a heartbeat and back on the open land.
The next few minutes were a lot of exploring and battling. We didn’t give our first player much direction, because many of the events in this area can be done in any order. Eventually we opted to head straight to the Thoda Geyser before anything else. To get there, the characters had to rent “boats” (washtubs). As it turned out, the geyser was also home to the Seal of Water.
We got started on the Seal, making our way in and going through most of the area’s puzzles, which involved little elements in a particular order all the way across the dungeon. It can be a little bit of a pain, so when an average enemy encounter managed to kill us off, we finally accepted defeat and decided to chalk it up as one bad session.
This is to say nothing of the horribly inappropriate conversations that emerged with all of us sitting there.
Still, it wasn’t a total waste. We did make some progress, and it was a fun time overall despite a little bit of infighting. You can watch this all play out in the recorded version of the session on oprainfall’s Twitch channel, all split into 5 videos. And make sure to come back and watch our next session on August 17th at 5 PM EDT—the next one will be much better, I promise.
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