Bravely Default: Day Two
That’s right ladies and gentleponies, what you see above is the very first example in history of Square Enix delivering some fanservice that involves a scantily-clad MAN, and in the same game with all the art of Agnes rolling around frolicking in flowerbeds with her ass in the air, no less. This is one of Ringabel’s special downloadable outfits from the Japanese version of the game, Wakoku Warrior. It’s not like I think Ringabel is the sexiest video game character I’ve ever seen or something, but it just makes me so happy to see some equality here in the fanservice. Games like DMC: Devil May Cry and others feature some great moments of deliciously naked men, but those games are still targeted at the straight male audience in such a way that I feel like they’re making a joke out of it, and it’s only unintentional fanservice. Ringabel is deliberately scantily clad and holding a rose, playing on his rakish personality, and this is Ringabel’s fourth costume in the vein of Agnes sexy bunny costume that was censored in the US, so it looks like the designers were making a point to make him sexy.
Honestly this could have been the unsexiest male in the series (like say… hey wait a minute, are there no unsexy male characters in Final Fantasy? Oh yeah… Barthandelus… I shudder) and I’d still be just as happy about it. It may not seem like a big deal, but I’ve had to see characters like Yuna and Lightning whip off their clothes for years when it’s completely out of character just to give their target audience a raging pixel boner, and I’m happy to see them doing the same thing for those of us interested in the boys, and at very least, doing it with a character for whom it actually makes sense because he has a sexual personality. Unfortunately, though Agnes sexy bunny outfit received a little treatment to make it less revealing in the states, Ringabel’s Wakoku Warrior costume was entirely censored, replacing it with his freelancer outfit when the player summons a friend who wears this outfit. America fails me once again.
One more note about special outfits and DLC: every character has four DLC costumes each in Japan, but in the US version, the first three for each character are unlockable in-game, and the fourth (such as Wakoku Warrior or sexy bunny Agnes) are unavailable. Despite the ridiculous censorship, it does make me happy that Square Enix isn’t trying to milk us for money by making the costumes DLC that has to be purchased, but making it available within the game. I am personally not a fan of DLC, I think a game should come with all it’s contents intact, and DLC should only be something added after the fact. Special costumes and such are good downloadable content, but I feel that they should only be something you have to pay for and download after the release of the game if they are costumes that were created after the release of the game.
In other news, my journey has continued! The heroes defeated a pyromaniac black mage and added Edea to their roster, whose allegiance quickly shifted once she saw what a band of thugs her country’s military has become, as well as the black mage asterisk. Edea has an extremely strong sense of justice and gets angry any time she sees someone being taken advantage of, which seems to happen quite often so far. Upon returning to Caldisla, the innkeeper’s son, captain of the Caldislan military, is slain by the invading army, and the king taken prisoner. Edea helps the party sneak into the villa where her military was stationed, but is found out to be a traitor soon thereafter. The heroes beat the crap out of the murdering bastard who killed the innkeeper’s son and kidnapped the king, steals their airhsip, and obtains the knight asterisk. Once the king was returned to Caldisla the journey continues. There’s a really cute scene on the way out of the city when the party members examine the lunches the innkeeper packed for them, and Agnes’ has a special note attached that says “for the girl who doesn’t eat meat,” and he packs her a delicious vegetarian meal, which I just think is the sweetest thing. That innkeeper’s a sweetheart.
Once the party sets sail in the airship and arrives on Agnes’ home continent, bound for the Temple of Wind where the wind crystal resides, the introductory chapter is concluded and Chapter One: “Sit And Stay Are Tricks For Dogs,” begins. The party travels through a desert to find a massive steampunk city that runs on wind-turbines, but because the wind has stopped, the city is losing it’s business, and the king is working the citizens harder than they’re capable, making them turn the turbines by hand. Meanwhile a shifty merchant is making the poor workers go thirsty by charging outrageous amounts for water, which is not at all a free commodity in a desert city. The party is given the option to undertake a sidequest involving the oasis, where water is free, and a thief is mugging all the poor citizens trying to quench their thirst. Chasing the thief to his hideout reveals a treasure trove of stolen goods, and after the thief spouts some crap about his childhood abandonment issues, he brings in a hired mystic knight to help him fight the party, but they of course win, obtaining the thief asterisk, and the mystic knight runs off before he can be defeated. Ringabel finds a letter from the merchant in the city ordering the thief to steal from the people who travel to the oasis, so that they are forced to stay in the city and pay for water.
The party heads back to the city, where the merchant is trying to weasel a man out of all of his money by demanding payment for lost goods after they were stolen at the oasis by the thief he hired, when Edea and the gang reveal him for a fraud, and the mystic knight shows up again to help battle. He runs off once again, and once the party defeats the merchant they acquire his asterisk. Ringabel finds an unsigned document that mentions meeting up somewhere at night, and the party decides to investigate. So far I haven’t been able to figure out where I need to go next to continue the sidequest, but that’s where I’ve made it up to!
Also I’d like to mention now for the record that ever since I first met the adventurer (the guy who allows you to save in dungeons and who also sells you merchandise from the hometown Tiz is rebuilding), I’ve kind of had this feeling that he’s really Tiz’s “dead” brother in disguise. One of my friends was saying that he had something about Bravely Default spoiled for him before he had a chance to play, and that the surprise was right in front of your face all along. I’m not sure if this was the spoiler he mentioned because frankly I don’t want to know, this is one of the first games I’ve played in years where I don’t know the ending or the story before it happens and I’m thoroughly enjoying it, but if that is in fact the big reveal, I’d like to just say I called it from the moment I met him.
And so, on we go! Will I get the red mage asterisk soon? I hope so, because apart from the fact that I quite like the red mage job, everyone looks so cool in the new rose-covered outfits!