Today we'll be revisiting the second tier of towns, the ones we visited during Chapters 2 and 3. Once again, we'll start in the Frostlands and go clockwise, which means we'll start in Stillsnow.

That said, all there is of interest is the Forbidden Dagger. You have a 0% chance of stealing the Forbidden gear, so I'm stuck buying them. This entire update is watching my massive bank account go down the drain as I stock up on gear.

Weirdly, there are three Forbidden Daggers in the game, two of which are in side dungeons. It has the third-highest PhysAtk of any dagger and mediocre ElemAtk. The Fire/Dark hit is easy to plan around, but even then it's not really worth using over the Battle-tested Dagger or the three Viper Daggers you can obtain. If it had another bonus stat, maybe, but every character should have an ElemAtk weapon of choice at this point, so the dagger's mediocre stat makes it pointless, especially since it lowers effectiveness of two elements.

Anyway, on to Noblecourt.

Here's yet another of the tournament participants from Olberic's Chapter 2.

The Master's Spear has the second-highest PhysAtk of any polearm and a near-identical Crit bonus to the first-highest polearm, the Battle-tested Spear. It's a fantastic second choice for your physical attackers and a worthwhile grab.

This is Revello's son, and the mysterious man that Primrose's tale ended on. The game's clearly trying to set him up with Primrose, though of course since our characters' tales have all been resolved there's gonna be no resolution to this in this game.

Also I'm guessing he meant "ordeal". Can't catch every typo!

The Crystal Vest isn't flashy (well, I guess it kinda is since it's a crystal vest and all), but it has really solid stats and is the best armor if you want balance. And even if you don't, it has the fourth-highest PhysDef (with the top three all lacking ElemDef completely) and the third-highest ElemDef. Really good general-purpose armor piece.

I can't believe it's been ten years since Geoffrey died...

We'll meet Revello again in a future side story.

We're done here. On to Goldshore!

The Dragon's Vest is just a step down from the Crystal Vest. Its advantage is being available early, but it'll probably not make it into your final party. But since we'll have to use all eight characters and there's only two Crystal Vests, I'm sure I'll have someone wearing this.

Ellen and Flynn are back at it, gathering seashells for cash. Gotta admire their hustle.

Ellen's Inquire text is unchanged from Alfyn's Chapter 2.

Solid PhysAtk and Crit, though the side effect can be annoying. That said, that "downside" is irrelevant for boss battles, and in fact if you grind for the final boss the increased encounters ends up being handy. One of the better Forbidden weapons, just don't use it for randoms.

Also here we learn the insidious truth about Goldshore's massive seashell market.

Can seashells truly buy happiness?


A great man, he was. Set out across the sea and discovered a new continent. Just before he left, he declared...

I want to hear this guy's story. Maybe we'll hear it in the prequel game...

Only a 15% chance to steal these still. Eesh.

Honestly, I didn't really need to buy a second Wizard's Rod. I don't know why I chose to do so.

We have learned too much. Now we must make our escape before we pay the price. For now, let's lay low in Stonegard.

The only other Forbidden weapon with multiple copies. Third-best PhysAtk of any sword, a nice speed bonus, but it has a chance to buff the enemy's PhysAtk upon hit. Risk-reward, though it's more risk this late in the game.

Archibold didn't take his loss in the arena too badly, as he's already back to training to regain his title.

This is a weird weapon that attacks twice and has a ridiculously high Accuracy stat (the highest stat boost of any tertiary stat besides MaxHP), though the PhysAtk is low. A nice gimmick weapon if you can find a way to work with it. Might be good for breaking axe weaknesses, I guess? No clue how boosting affects the number of hits, nor whether it'd proc runes twice (I doubt it though).

There's still characters Olberic can't beat up. I may revisit this jerk with H'aanit later, or after I level Olberic up a bit, but for now this is my one piece of unfinished business.

How is mediocre equipment still this hard to steal?

Not much else to talk about here. Now that we're halfway done, let's dive into Wellspring.

Erhardt is just chilling with the rest of the guard. This is where he calls home now, after all.

Tied for highest PhysAtk in the game, a huge Crit boost, and buffs physical abilities. It seems to be different than a simple PhysAtk buff since I don't see the buff when I use this blade with Olberic, so I'm not sure what the deal is. Not that it matters, its huge PhysAtk and Crit make it worth using alone.

I do not mean it to be so, but the greatest burden of the work always seems to fall upon him. I know it cannot continue on in this way... I know it, and yet it's so hard to change things.

Also I apparently missed this NPC earlier.

Which is a shame, as his Purchase text is great.

The Forbidden Axe has a massive PhysAtk value and a decent speed boost, but its drawback is an Accuracy penalty. Lower accuracy is a big deal, but it's also a relatively small loss. It may be a factor depending on circumstances, but this one still seems to be very much worth using.

Onward to Saintsbridge.

His father was murdered, he nearly died of poisoning, he got kidnapped and injured...this kid has had a rough life already, but despite all that has a really positive attitude. Hopefully that'll carry him far.

Debuffs Crit and PhysAtk. Honestly those are irrelevant for most staff users, but the problem is that the ElemAtk is low besides that, and there's no extra bonus like an elemental buff. Even in Chapter 2 or so it's competing with the Wizard's Rod and a few other ElemAtk-focused weapons. Meh.

Bishop Bartolo's up for chatting.

The Battle-tested Staff has the highest ElemAtk in the game, and boosts a solid PhysAtk stat too (second-highest of all staves, as much as that matters) and a slow debuff. It's hard to go wrong with the Battle-tested gear!

Two locations left! Let's stop by Quarrycrest.

I finally got around to equipping Unsurpassed Power on Olberic so I can end these duels quickly. This is one of the few door-blocking NPCs I hadn't beaten up yet, at least until now.

Turns out he's guarding this old loud woman.

The Speed hit is pretty nasty, but this is also the only weapon where both attacks are above 300. If you have a character who needs strength in both, the Forbidden Spear is solid in that regard, and even beyond that it's the third-highest PhysAtk of any polearm. It's worth taking the speed hit, I'd wager.

The blazestone is keepin' the egg warm, and she and the egg are as hale as can be. The wisest dragons oft leave their young in the care of humans. That dragon chose Kaia for a reason, you can be sure of that.

Finally, we get a bit of closure on Kaia's quest. I'm sure there's a bright future ahead with her and her dragon. Probably. Hopefully.

...To Victor's Hollow!

Somehow you can't Purchase or Steal from this merchant.

Highest ElemDef of any body armor. MaxSP is a good bonus as well. I love it.

Cecily's still looking to expand her own business. You know, we do know an expert hunter with an affinity for taming beasts...

The game constantly says Ned's in pretty poor shape due to his various wounds.

But even with all that, he's still on par with everyone that entered the tournament besides Olberic and maybe Gustav. When Ned heals, he may very well be able to win the whole thing himself.

Finally, in addition to the second Crystal Vest, he holds the Battle-tested Axe. This is the only of these weapons to not be the strongest in its respective stat, but instead opts for flexibility, giving great PhysAtk and decent ElemAtk, but also boosting two elements on top of that. It's a solid enough option, though not as flashy as the raw stats of its brethren.

And that's it for our second town recap! Next time, we'll be diving back into side stories involving familiar faces!