My first order of business was to investigate the house belonging to the old couple known as the "Cutters." What an unfortunate name. Well, here's their house.
What a nice little wreck. I bet you could make that a nice little fixer-upper if you could get the current residents to leave...
Wow. Not even the Game Labeler likes her. Why does she have paw prints on her shirt?
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the scary music that plays whenever you go close to the house. It's like they want us to think these people are up to no good. Where would they get that idea?
For...for what? Is that a knife in your hand? OH GOD, RUN AWAY!!!!
So we ran off and found a handy place to climb onto part of the house, where there was a hole in the roof. Well, it's not really a roof. I'm not sure what to call it.
Okay, cool! Let's blow it up!
Once I'd blown up the panels with a Cherry Bomb, we headed inside, but there wasn't much to see.
Are those skulls? This is getting worse by the second.
And then, for whatever reason, Issun called my attention to the hole in the ceiling I'd just made.
The moon? Issun, we just made that hole. I'm pretty sure you can only see the bottom of the roof through it. Oh well.
But it was daytime, so Issun suggested we come back at night. Okay then.
Why's she talking to us? She was trying to kill us earlier. Oh, right, because her husband already caught something for them to eat. What are those chirping noises I keep hearing?
Oh? Why's that?
Why are you telling us this? And what are those chirping noises? You know, I heard a rumor in Kusa Village about how you guys commissioned a bamboo birdcage even though you hate animals...
I'm starting to think maybe this wasn't such a good idea....
So I dragged her into the moonlight...
What's that shadow? Why do you have a knife again? This is going to go horribly wrong soon, isn't it?
That's a horrible shadow! What's going on here?!
Okay, never mind. Can we leave now?
Uh oh, now the husband's getting involved. What are those things? Some kind of weird crane birds?
Some kind of weird insect-crane-bird-things. Okay, that's a lot less freaky than the shadow implied. Time to kill them!
Oh, I see. The missing bird-girl was in the backpack. What a weird place to store a bird-girl. Oh well.
I'M NOT A DOG! GET IT RIGHT! Jeez.
They're hugging there, but you can't really see it because my giant spinny shield is in the way. Oh well.
Speaking of the shield, I was disappointed to notice that when I used the shield as a shield during the fight with the Cutters, it morphed back into my original stone/fire shield for the animation. Lame.
Why does everyone always take so long to introduce themselves? Is it customary in Japan to have whole conversations with strangers before you exchange your names? Sheesh.
Well, anyway, we found Chun. ZBetter head back home, kid.
The monsters are dead! I killed them! They'll never torment any poor birds ever again!
Fine, I'll escort you. I need to go there anyway to find the next Canine Warrior.
So we made our way back to Sasa Sanctuary, dodging demons the whole way, and found Chun's dad, Mr. Juice, and his minions.
Hey. I'm a GIRL dog. I mean wolf. There are, like, zero good female characters in this story. Let me have my female glory!
Oh, I'm SO relieved. Go eat some birdseed, you underling. What would you do if the boss didn't accept me? Peck me to death? Yeah. I'm really worried.
So, Issun and I did some inn exploration, and managed to discover the hot spring in the back. Which, unfortunately, had mysteriously dried up, to the consternation of everyone involved. Including the bath attendant, who kept threatening to roast his own drumsticks. Yeah, I don't see that ending well. Equally unfortunate is my lack of any photos of how all this went down. I had to join a minigame with Mr. Bamboo to find water underground to make the hot spring flow again. But, of course, I was successful, with a minimum of failure. The minigame itself is, well...I had to dig my way downward through several layers of rock to get to the bottom, where Mr. Bamboo used his bamboo ware to find the perfect dig spot. The problem is that only some of the rocks can be dug through, and others are spiky and remove a few seconds from the time limit if you touch them. Yeah, there's a time limit. I'm not going to lie, the first time I did this, I thought the whole thing was kind of bullshit, but it wasn't so bad the second time around. Of course, that was because I already knew what to do, so YMMV.
Best of all, the Bath Attendant didn't have to resort to roasting his own drumsticks. Which is good, because roast bird tends to be pretty tasty.
Yeah, I'm not really sure why I needed you, old man.
...You do that. Hey, there's my old shield again. Lame.
A constellation? How unexpected!
Is that a bomb? But I can already make bombs...
A snake in a jar? Um...is it just me, or do these things just keep getting weirder?
That's a snake in a jar. I don't get it.
Yay, Waterspout! Which is basically the ability to make water columns I can stand on to get to higher areas. For treasure and stuff. I can also use it to fill up empty things, like water jugs or deer scares, or douse things that are on fire. Yay!
So then Mr. Bamboo started babbling about how he needed to get through a gate to go to the bamboo thicket, but the gate wouldn't open until the giant deer scare right next to him filled up and did its thing.
He calls it a bamboo tube, but it's totally a giant deer scare.
So, my new objective was to fill up the deer scare with water so it would empty out and open the gate.
I guess I didn't get any pictures of myself filling up the deer scare with water. Oh well. We all know I managed to do it, or I wouldn't be writing this blog post.
And after we opened the gate and went into the bamboo thicket, we found another bird-person there crying.
So we followed the completely-unexpected Canine Tracker to the bamboo thicket, where three of the bamboo trunks were flashing like...fireflies, or something. I had to Power Slash one of the trunks while it was flashing, which was harder than it looked at first since they were flashing really fast. But finally, I managed to succeed.
Can this be?! Can your beloved pet dog really be a Canine Warrior?
Your priestess gave it to me. So, you know...yeah...do we really have to fight again?
Yeah, yeah, let's get this fight over with.
And when we were done, the dog decided to stay at Sasa Sanctuary. What a silly dog. Something about the sanctuary being overrun by demons if he left. Okay then.
Duty orb? What's that?
Oh, it's a Power Orb. Well, I guess collecting those is as good as finding the Canine Warriors. Just, you know...we could probably use every warm body we can find and...well, I dunno.
So then Mr. Bamboo started babbling about how he needed to finish his bamboo ware in time for the Kamiki Festival, since that's coming up. And it happens to be the 100th anniversary of Orochi's defeat at the hands of Nagi and Shiranui. Interesting.
That's probably a good idea.
I'm pretty sure it won't be difficult, but okay.
And then the old man babbled something about magical springs and instantaneous travel and gave me this thing:
But apparently his message didn't sink in, because I proceeded to run all the way back to Agata Forest to find the next Canine Warrior.
Let me guess. Your dog is the Canine Warrior we're looking for. Okay, where is he?
Sigh. Of course he did. I bet you'd manage to lose your own ass if it wasn't attached to you, huh?
Say what? You want to go to Burger King? Okay, I could get behind that.
Oh, you're talking about a fish. Never mind.
And then he said I should go up to the sacred spring and see what was going on there. Well, I guess the dog possibly swallowed by a giant fish can wait...
And what did we find at the spring?
Kushi! Nice to see you again, I guess.
Cool, I guess.
Oh, I see. The Sake of Legend (tm).
You do, do you? Well...uh...judging by the size of that barrel...oh, look at the time!
Shut up, Issun! You don't want to get roped into this, do you?
I SAID SHUT UP! Do you want me to eat you again?
Really? You hadn't thought about it? Despite the fact that you have to have dragged the thing up here yourself?
Oh? Where is our fine phony friend?
I'm guessing that's a hint...
So I had to fill up the barrel all by myself. But it was an easier time than Kushi probably would have had.
You were standing right there while I did it. Are you really that dumb?
Yay! Now how are you going to get it home...?
And suddenly...Keith Richards appeared!
Just kidding. It's not really Keith Richards. But it is one of those guitar demons.
Sorry for the blurriness. I'd ask why you're trying to talk to the threatening-looking demon, Kushi, but you are the woman who gave sake to demons earlier, so...I'd say just to stop talking.
Just shut up and let us handle this!
Well, look who decided to show up.
Aww, he's scared.
Aww, look at his knees knocking! The poor guy, he knows he's a fraud and he's trying to be brave anyway!
Sure you are.
Now just stand aside and let us do your work for you!
So we Power Slashed a whole bunch of demons and apparently killed them all with one hit each. I wish I could do that all the time.
Look at that! Your enemies all fell over yet again, and you didn't actually do anything. You're a fraud!
Ever since what? What aren't you telling us? I bet I could figure it out...
I, uh...well, I don't know why you'd think that...
Oh, really? I wouldn't be too sure about that.
Good luck with that...
And then he ran off without saying goodbye!
And with that, I've reached my stopping point for today. Maybe next time we'll find the next Canine Warrior, eh?
Until next time, heroes!