Saturday, April 18, 2015

Journey ep01 : Ryuutama


Episode One
"Small Beginnings"


At long last, I finally got a chance to run the game Ryuutama, the Oregon Trail-Final Fantasy Tactics-Ghibli game. Created by Atsuhiro Okada, the game is finally in English and I finally got Rocky, Urim and Che to try it out.

“At one point in their lives, everyone embarks upon an exciting journey…”

TRISTAN, a Trader played by Urim
16 year old with ginger hair, glasses, dressed simply.  Always has his favorite abacus while computing things.  Has an animal companion named Twinkle, a bad brown baby squirrel monkey who hangs on his shoulder and at times pantomimes that he's the leader of the travelling group. As well as Finn, a pack donkey who was a gift from his parents.

PITER, a Container-Maker played by Rocky
Heavy-set build, in his late 20s with red hair and pale green/gray eyes.  Always carries a crafting hammer.  And tends to get into playful arguments with Twinkle.

AYA, a Musician played by Che
In her early twenties, with a dynamite body, and honey blonde hair. She always carries her pearl-encrusted hand-mirror, which was a gift from her mentor.  Great with daggers and a lyre.

The group is traveling through the grassland, on a journey to reach the town of Ifa, in hopes of finding new things to trade and sell.  The town was known for having a lot of cute products, which the group felt might hold opportunities to make more coin.  Although the way, the chance upon a Dragon Statue and Tristan takes the walking stick in its hands.  For him, it felt like a moment that confirmed they were finally adventurers.

They did not know, however, that they had gained the attentions of Ka Riu, a seven-foot long Ao Ryuu, an Azure Dragon of fascinated with Love, Youth, Heartwarming tales, and the Human Heart.   The Ryuujin resides in a library inside a burning star and watches over the three travelers with rapt fascination.  He wants to write about tales of friendships being born.    To share stores of kindness, of happiness, and of the hearth.

Tristan starts the day feeling sluggish, not having slept well the night before.  Piter feels annoyed that they are walking on the grassland, however, feeling exhausted as they trudge along.  The group laughs about how Piter insisted they bring his bathtub with them rather than get pack horses.  Along the way, the meet a Weather Reader on the road.   The young man warns them he sees four days of rain coming soon.  He introduces himself as Joshua, and admits he had companions earlier but they seem to have left him behind along with his donkey.  Piter asks if he was sure he was not traveling with bandits.  "Of course not! They said they were traveling bandit hunters, in their black clothes and masks."They talk about the Konekogoblins, a race of cat-like goblins, who now reside in Ifa.   

They soon reach a clearing ahead where people are already camped.  The companions Joshua had turn out to be the people already set in camp.    Aya asks if the men are willing to share the campsite with them.  Joshua recognizes the heavy set man who he calls Billy.  The men all have black grease-painted masks on their faces and are all dressed in black.  A thin man comes forward, named Bob, and stands beside Billy, and they ask Joshua who the newcomers are.    Piter insists they allow Joshua to be reunited with his donkey and their things.  Two more guys step out, also in black outfits and with grease masks.  Piter wonders if they are a performing troupe.  They claim to be mercenaries keeping the roads clear of bandits.   "Now, I would like to see my donkey Amberdeluxie."  Tristan whispers to Aya and Piter that he thinks they are smelling Amberdeluxie now.  A delicious aroma of roasting meat permeates from the fire.  They make a deal to be friends for now.  Joshua, oblivious to the nature of the earlier men, simply seems excited to eat the roast.  They set up camp for the night.  While the group was tempted to confront Billy and Bob's group about Joshua's missing donkey, the group ends up liking the donkey roast too much that they fall nicely asleep from eating too much.   Aya, still awake, ends up bonding with one of the bandits, Franco, who seems to be trying to learn to read.  She opts to spend an hour talking to him and teaching him how to read more.   As Aya returns to get some sleep, she finds Joshua asleep in her sleeping back.  With the rain starting outside, she opts to shove him to the side to share the sleeping bag.

The next morning, Aya finds herself feeling a tad exhausted having not slept well.  Piter and Tristan, on the other hand, seem to have slept pretty well.  The other group is now dressed in blue outfits.  The masks had been washed off their faces.  The two are busy juggling.  Piter realizes they are actually a performing troupe.  Billy, using his immense strength, grabs the whole tents with one hand and tangles it into a pack which he slings over his back. The group mentions they were headed west, to Islengton for a show.  Joshua shares how bad he feels that Amberdeluxie has disappeared and how the bandits probably have taken him and the gold chest away.  Piter questions Billy and Bob if they know anything about that.  Tristan, however, comforts Joshua telling him that he probably should be happy to know Amberdeluxie is now "part of him" forever.  Of the twins, Franco and Freddy practice their juggling.  When Franco fails to catch the juggling pin, Freddy accuses Aya of distracting him with her feminine wiles and questions his brother wasting time with reading.  "Who ever made their life better thanks to reading a book?  Tell me!"  Aya stresses many of the mayors are where they are because they were educated.   Freddy insists they got to power only because of popularity.  Or nobility.

The group opts to move with the troupe and Aya starts playing the song Of A Thousand Kisses, raising the spirits of the group as they walk.  The rain is light and the grassland ahead offers an easier journey.   Soon they reach another suitable camp site as they reach a massive tree at the center of the road.  The rain begins to get heavier and heavier, and the group opt to stay under its shade.   There, they find themselves encountering a Konekogoblin who seems depressed for some reason.  Joining him under the tree, they learn that the Konekogoblin is named Kene, which is short for his full name Kotaro Kenemokabakamabebe.   He laments having lost the fishbone earring his sister had given him, and wonders if he would ever find it, given he was worried how his sister would react once she discovers he had lost the gift.  Bob warns Piter that Konekogoblins are bad luck.  "They are always after their own happiness."

As night looms deeper, the group finds themselves assailed by Wandering Eggs, which burst out of the rain.  The group quickly dispatches the Wandering Eggs, with Piter even realizing the eggs can fetch a good price if gathered properly.  They do, however, finds the fishbone earring in the goop left behind by the Wandering Egg and consider when to return it.    Kene, however, is thankful enough that he offers to show the group around Ifa when they arrive, given he actually lives there.

And in the shadows of the trees, something watches them and waits.   Fireflies dance and vanish in the light rain.

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