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PSO2 NGS Story Guide
The story of PSO2 NGS will likely be complex and long.
This isn't meant to be a substitute for the game, or as a transcript of the entire script/plot, but rather a way to understand, read-up-on, speculate, analyze & get a really good idea of what's going on in the game.
Color key
Green Text: Speculation or opinions
What You Do/The official "Party Line" appears in RED TEXT
Bold Text: Important information
Choice Options: Blue Text
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NGS Story Guide Page 2
It starts out with a fine day on a tropical looking place /beach with Aina and her pal Mannon.
A Meteorn pod crashes down near by, and they go to investigate because these pods often have good people in them, called Meteorn. Aina is an older-teen looking sort with blue hair and red eyes. She's a middle-tan color. Mannon looks older than she is, maybe 18 or 19 or so, and is a lighter sandy tan, with darker wood-colored long, straight hair. Aina is energetic and eager, while Mannon seems calm and reserved.
When they reach the pod, they get Your Character out of it. They're happy to see another Meteorn person because those generally end up helping the town. You're then invited to go to the townm called Ailio Town and meet everyone. The trip to town is used to explain several things about how the game works like photon dashing, photon double jumping, photon gliding & Restasign.

Photon Moving-
Planet Halpha (whatever it may be) clearly is super-duper photon-rich somehow and everyone there clearly has a huge affinity for the stuff because they can concentrate it into their feet to produce double jumps/high-jumps, propelled-super-fast running and also indefinite gliding through the air. Everyone takes it for granted that your character can do this too, despite it being technically 'some type of alien'. Interestingly, even though these people are different (been there for probably 10 generations) you CAN do the photon movements they can, right out of the gate. Sooooo that shows it's the PLANET that's allowing for it, not the people-type. (Remember, not all ARKS people could use photons much at all, remember Ulc? The whole point of her was that she couldn't do it and was an illustration for the ARKS-species of people. Would Ulc be able to do anything here? Your character in PSO2 was always "said to be very photon-affinity" so it isn't out of left-field that it could do all the things here.)

They don't seem to use dimate/trimate/moon atomizers here. There are things called Reversasign & Restasign that look like glowing stems that grow up out of the ground randomly. You can pick them up like any object and upon 'using' the stem it does the same as what it's named after. They have no explanation for how/why the planet produces these.

On the way to town:
Dolls appear and you have to fight them. Defeating a few will bring out a ton more so a cut-scene has to happen where Aina's dad Garou has to come in and bash them all with his giant rare axe weapon to help out. Her dad is the same color she is, with blue hair, no shirt and a somewhat tropical look. His hair has a white stripe through the front of it. The father, after beating the Dolls encourages you to go to town too, to meet him and see the town.
After using Photon Glide you can see their sea-side village. This shows you the unusual mix of high tech stuff like cube shaped cement buildings with glow-lines in them mixed with low-tech where they've built like...tiki-roofs over various things and log-buildings. There's some small-plot farming going on and people's clothes are a mix of the metal/plastic stuff and clearly things they've made out of natural cloth and materials.

It turns out Garou is the mayor or leader of the town.
He lives in a huge house toward the back of town with colored ribbons all around it. Inside is mostly an office of some sort with chairs and screens set up at tables. He invites you to stay at town and learn from the residents. This lets you loose in the town to talk to the people who have various simple requests like hitting targets to help train or getting rid of ALTERS like Oodans and such who tear up the crop fields.

After spending the day doing that, Garou wants to throw a welcome BBQ party for you at sunset, like they do with all the Meteorn they find. The people of the town do like to party, so it works out well. You also learn from Garou that Mannon is also a Meteorn, but she remembered a few things. (Unhelpfully, no one mentions what) Aina and her father are obviously pretty close despite him being busy. He's always trying to train her to get better at being a Dolls-fighter/hunter/whatever they're going to call it here. She wants to make him proud / live up to expectations but she's a bit wishy-washy, though she tries hard and is an earnest person.

However, a Dolls attack happens right in the middle of the BBQ party, and you have to fight them off with Aina and Mannon. All doesn't go well though, because defeating the small-fry brings out a gigantic space ship. Like, skyscraper sized or so, that hovers in the air somewhat out to sea. This thing works up a huge blast and ruins the general area. Garou tells everyone to literally head for the hills, he's going to try to do something about it with his axe. Aina doesn't want to go, but Mannon persuades her and everybody gets out of dodge.

Her dad assumes and yells to everyone that this must be "Dark Falz", so it's got everybody talking that way.
He has literally no proof of this, it's just a big geometric shaped space ship that hovers, there's no way to tell what it really is, other than 'the biggest Dolls anyone has ever seen'. It winds up for a huge beam-blast so he mega-jumps to swat the blaster with his axe and is caught up in it. The trio had made it far enough away in time but, by the time you get up again the entire coastline is now missing and Aina was med-lifted to the city for her injuries. Mannon waited for you to get up.

You have to go with Mannon on foot to make the trek to the Central City to get to Aina and see if she's ok.
The town is literally gone and the coastline altered and blackened into an inlet, so there's nothing left to do there. Upon reaching Central City, a day's trek away, you're summoned by the current king-of-town / the mayor/leader guy Crawford. He's a soft-spoken, nice newman man in a fancy long white coat with glitter accents. He's a light beige color with a light purple-ish-blue to paler-blue fade short hair. He resides in a command-center type room with map globe, supporting technicians, surround-screens and a chair.
He explains that Aina is going to be fine, so she shows up about a second later looking for her father. Crawford has to tell her that they rescued some survivors, but he wasn't among them so he is now listed as missing. And.......she doesn't react. She's basically like 'oh well'.

I have absolutely NO IDEA why this bit is so apparently poorly done. The characters' faces don't change expressions much (in any circumstance) but they don't even narrow her eyes for this. Also, her reaction seems really badly scripted? And, it's not like they appear to be going for "She's in level 10 denial", because they DIDNT write her like she is. Even to someone who has to inspect humans for their emotions (or their apparent cover-ups of emotions) this whole thing reads wrong and badly done. It makes the entire interaction very confusing. It doesn't even go with the rest of the game, it's not like they're trying to make Aina a 'secret drone' with no emotions here, she emotes plenty later on about similar things so none of it makes sense. Hence, this aside

He basically asks you to look around the city, learn about it, take a rest, and then decide if you want to be on the anti-Dolls squad. Once out of the command room, Mannon brings up the commitment to fighting Dolls and asks if Aina is ok, but she's like 'nah I'm fine' (which feels a liiiiitttle more like a denial/cover up) to which Mannon reacts that she's "always bad at reading people or knowing their emotions". Mannon is one of these sorta 'deadpan' type girls, so that's fitting for her to react that way. Are they trying to code her as a tad on the spectrum? Or is something amiss with her (and she knows it) because she's a Meteorn?

Basically all 3 of you commit to fighting Dolls, so you're assigned to help a cast named DOZER (Japan may have had the character named Bruder (which would be pronounced brooder, but that appears to be the only changed-name in the entire game...which is fine.) on Mt. Magnus, a place known for hostile things and also Dolls.
On the mountain you have to fight your way up through various Alters, Lores and Dolls. Mt. Magnus is made of reddish rock and has various scrub vegetation that one might expect. There are rocky outcroppings and mini-plateau type areas. At the end of this journey is the main Dolls-badguy of the area, the Nogleth which is a quadroped type 'dragon' looking thing with no tail. It races around quickly and is probably about the size of a city bus. The limbs are the noodly gel. It has a heavily armored head. When it is badly damaged, it can go into a rampage mode where crystals come out of it and it does bigger attacks and goes wild. This causes Aina to freeze up, because it makes her have a flashback of the beam-shooting thing.
Dozer saves the day and the Nogleth is defeated. She gets super upset that she froze up, and recalls how her dad sent her away from the beach attack 'because she'd be in the way'. Dozer has good advice though which is that it's ok to be afraid of the Dolls but you have to attack them anyway, like he does. (Bravery is, by it's definition, being afraid but acting anyway for the greater good or saving people--even if the one you save is yourself.)

Later, she thinks about quitting, and summons you and Mannon to talk about it.
She is talked out of this fairly quickly though
. So, shortly after, (the next day) a call goes out to help at the Vanford Labratory Ruin, which is a place that the Dolls destroyed maybe 30 years ago or so and nobody ever re built it. The trio (you, Mannon, Aina) agree to go, which inspires others to do so as well. There, Dolls are of course on the rampage but they are backed up by a big energy glob that blocks communication. This turns out to fall down and form into the Daityl Sword, a very tall and lanky biped / somewhat humanoid thing. It's probably 3 or 4 stories tall, so, building height. Beating him in the toes is something he hates, so you can defeat him.
Once the Daityl Sword is defeated, another call comes in that Dozer's squad went into the Resol Forest Area and now appears to be in trouble, so you are urged to rush there next.

Though, you probably can't.
This is where the game's actual mechanics comes in, which is "Battle Power".
Anyone not totally ignoring the story to go zooming about the countryside defeating any and all things will likely not have the Battle Power to do anything yet. The Ops girls will call you and a new 'main quest' will appear which is to talk to some NPCs and raise your BP to a certain amount before the forest can even be entered at all. You basically have to run around until you get to Level 15 or so, grind whatever 2nd or 3rd teir weapon you have up past 20 or so, run every single cocoon & spend every single Skill Point (from those cocoons), as well as performing at least 1 weapon "limit break", and making your main weapon a "combo weapon". All of which is very expensive to do, so you will also need to red-box hunt (There are 113 of them in the 'chapter 1' area that this takes place in) You do have to work at it to be able to reveal more story.

The Resol Forest
This forest has giant trees, glowing mushrooms, steep hills and twisted roots everywhere. Sunlight only filters in a little bit. There's lots of moss and rocks and some plants that glow a little. It is a nifty place to see. To start this quest, you can meet Aina outside the forest border, and go inside. Mannon then arrives and tells you that there are three signals that could be Dozer, so there's nothing to do but investigate each one. The communications in this area are blocked, just like they were at Vanford. So, you have to get in there and defeat various Oodans, Pettas Axe, Pettas Launcher, and other regular area Dolls. Running from marker to marker, you still can't find Dozer.
Eventually, there's a larger clearing where you can spot what looks like a guy standing there. Two people escape, the Techer & Ranger from Dozer's squad. The guy is metallic looking, and isn't facing you. He's perhaps 1.5 regular people tall, or a bit taller. This is not a person though, it is a new type of Dolls, the Bujin. You don't get to inspect it though, because Aina and Mannon will attack it from afar and set it off. Look carefully at the Bujin, it only has one arm. Why would they build it with only a single arm? It has a long katana that glows with energy when it is getting ready to attack. It has many powerful attacks like turning invisible, multi katana slash, shadow-clones, shadow-movement, a huge AOE dome of doom attack, airial juggles and more.

If you can defeat it...
Another signal will appear and Dozer sure won't. It was not the Bujin that was keeping Dozer from everyone. Crawford will call you, saying maybe you should retreat because there's a big signal in the sky that something's coming down. No one will leave though, so you go to the next coordinate. There, the bad Dolls dragon Nex Ailio appears. This is a rather "S" shaped winged dragon thing with a long curved torso. It has smallish wings, a long tail, and both hands/feet. It can breathe fire, slash the tail, spin attack and fly around. As you fight it, Dozer shows up to help out, but tries to scold everyone for going into the dangerous Resol Forest. He clams up though once Aina yells how determined everyone is to save him.

Dozer says there's no point in running away from it now (as it flies and is fast/it won't do any good) we've got to try and defeat it. It's turning radius isn't that great, so trying to stay under/at the back feet works pretty well. Eventually Dozer can blast its tail off. When it gets low on health though, watch out! Just like the Nogleth, the Nex Ailio will turn red and go into a rampage mode. This mode includes growing 2 more heads for a total of 3 attacking heads. It can also do ground/flame attacks, falling fire meteors, area burn, energy blasting and pillars of fire from the ground.
The characters will mention that it has "Cores" in it, and, indeed it does there are two yellow glowing round....disks? Embedded in the torso area that are especially vulnerable to attacks. In this case, the NPCs are actually pretty helpful in battle. They never die of attacks, and they are able to do ok damage.

Of course, this freaks Aina out, so you can say

Remember What Dozer Said
We've Got This Aina

If you say We've Got This Aina, she looks around to see that you, Mannon & Dozer are really there to back her up and has a vision of her father too, (a flash) and is able to stand and fight even though the thing is going wild. There's a cinematic type that shows each character doing a cool attack against it, and the dragon is defeated. She tells Dozer that his advice really did help, Mannon is clearly proud of her, and everyone is happy/relieved. The Nex Ailio was what was blocking communications too, so as soon as it's gone, Central City's calling you. He's amazed you could beat it, super happy to see Dozer again and that everyone's fine. Everyone agrees to go right back to the city.

Once there Crawford tells the ops people that "The Materials were gathered successfully." Aina asks what about that? This forces him to explain what Dozer was there to do. (He's embarassed she caught him out on this, he clearly didn't want to explain his ideas to 'the newbies in town', but.....he's no seasoned politician! Embarassing him/calling him out actually DOES work, and he feels bad about it enough that he'll explain...nice) It's that they need items from the dolls themselves, and various areas of the planet. As you know, people are rich in photons, but what's richer is the planet itself AND the atmosphere. The Garou vs Falz attack has been studied, and it's determined that the photons of the people/place harm the Dolls. Garou had the right idea, but Falz was just too big (giant metal space ship) for his photon attack to strike the core.
So...what if the atmosphere's photons could be collected instead for a giant attack to defeat a giant thing? The idea for that is called "Central Cannon", but it can't be completed without more items from far and near. Do you want to be part of the item gathering force that goes and contacts other Arks/people far away? Aina assumes this means we'll be his gophers/liasons to try and persuade strangers to help Central City. He says that's about right, and all three are signed up to the job.

End of Chapter 1: To Be Continued...

Preview: A sandy area is shown, where a menacing Dolls sand-worm is obviously lurking

1. Why does nobody ask about the Bujin? It is the only Dolls that looks like it is trying to be a person in both look & actions.
2. WHO is building the Dolls? They are obviously artificial constructs, not 'wacky animals Falz is making' like every other time.
3. Some Dolls are apparently very old, when you see "Veteran" Dollsname", they'll have moss and dirt accumulations on them. Where were these hiding that nobody stumbled onto them? You always encounter Dolls while they are wandering around, they never spawn such that you can see them 'appear'.
4. The expensive item "Alpha Reactor" looks suspiciously like something that's sometimes embedded in some Dolls.
5. The "Guarded/Boosted" Dolls have a glowing yellow cylender embedded in a sharp/twisted 'barb' that is stuck in them. It looks like they have been stabbed/pierced with this to injure them. (Ex. in a Doltz it's jabbed through the joint of a back leg) Breaking the cylender makes the Dollz vulnerable to attack....but then why was it stabbed into them in an injuring way?
6. What causes "silver and gold"?
Dolls, Alters, Tames, and Legacy type anythings can appear in 'silver and gold' colors where it looks like they were dipped in chrome. If a Dolls is a metallic color it will be stronger than normal and have more HP. It does not seem to be the case for anything else. Of course, they drop more/better stuff but...what causes the coloration? The animals don't seem to mind.

The characters will talk about the eerie forest, but they won't remark on the cleary-person-looking-ninja?
Why don't they talk about the Dolls in general more? Nobody asks Mannon what she remembers as a Meteorn?

Side Quest: A Melancholy Monument

Aina asks you to go to the watchtower, but it really is just the outer wall of the city at one of the points. She wants to make a grave for her dad, or a monument. It’s to preserve the memory of how they protected the town with their lives. So, you go with her to the Ailio Town Ruins area. She says that Crawford is keeping Mannon too busy, so she’ll just go with you. She suggests the forest for finding something to use.

You can lead her to an area that seems to have been used for Hunter/ARKS training. She confesses that she was never allowed to join it, and regrets just watching everyone else do it. She didn’t like it. She doesn’t see anything at the training ground to use for it, so suggests heading for the sea. However, pettas gun and pettas sword will spawn in the area and you have to fight those before you can leave. Going toward the ocean, she says the plains are just the same as they were before the attack.

Once at the ruins of town, you can see that there are dolls there, specifically pettax axe and pettax launcher. One of them will be guarded/boosted with the twisted spike/cylender thing stuck in them. Once you get rid of those, a Varas will appear, and it’s guarded too. Among the items/ruined things now, she’ll find a long white staff looking thing. It has a cone on one end and a half-moon sort of shape on the other, with a photonic glow in it on a round ball/orb that levitates in the half moon shape. She’ll say it’s his sword.

You ok?
It’s a Keepsake of Him

If you ask You Ok? She’ll say you’re sweet, so mind following her up the hill? You do, and reach a cliff edge. He loved looking at the world from the spot, she was so proud of him for being an inspiration, a teacher and a protector. She gets the strange white weapon out, and stabs it into the ground, laying flowers at the base. She thinks this will be proof of how hard he and the others fought for everyone.

It’s a Great Idea
I’m Sure Garoa and the Others Would Be Pleased

If you say It’s a Great Idea, you can nod, she’ll say it’s decided. She’ll give you an informal reward. But, she’s got to keep going, if she doesn’t want dad to get on her case. With this, she leaves the area. The white petals leave the flowers and blow out over the sea past the staff. The item she gives you is Honor of Aelio, which is a black woven cord and bead bracelet accessory.

The side story then ends.
There's not much to ask about or really learn in this one, other than some all right character development. It still doesn't fix her bizzarre and unfitting total lack of...any reaction at all at the start of the game but? It's better than having nothing. Do note that this Side Story was added many months after everyone finished the main story Chapter 1.

The Retem Region:

This is the desert area that Crawford mentioned at the end of chapter 1. Before Chapter 2 really starts off, you’re summoned to Crawford Command Room so he can sort of recap it. Under the desert sands of Retem are various minerals and items that they need to help with the cannon and the Dolls defense over all. So, when you arrive he tasks you, Mannon and Aina to go over there and start trying to communicate with the Retem settlement. They are having a Dolls problem too (because probably the whole entire planet is), so his thought is that if you help defeat the Dolls there, they’ll help us out with the minerals and supplies. Aina says he can count on us, and the scene ends.

This opens up 2 new things to do.
1.Cross the bridge to meet Aina to go to Retem
2. Investigate a mysterious Electromagnetic Signal in the Resol forest that is affecting the Dolls and making them behave differently.

Orangie tasks you with Investigating The Signal:
To do this, you have to go to Resol Forest and defeat a set number of Dolls enemies there. If you do, she’ll show up on your communicator and barely explain much. Is the signal man-made? If so, who would do such a thing? It influences the Dolls behavior, so they’ll look at the data you gathered to try and learn more about it.

And that’s pretty much it. It was certainly a tiny side-quest. Electromagnetic Signals are not out of the question here, because the Dolls are some kind of mechanical construct so it’s very plausible that they’d be affected by such things. However, it doesn’t say WHAT it is influencing the Dolls into doing. More aggressive? Lures them somewhere? That would have been helpful to know and IT IS KNOWN (Obviously by Orangie) but she doesn’t elaborate which is annoying.

To Get To Retem:
You meet Mannon and Aina near the clearly constructed-by-whoever was ‘building’ giant things onto the planet bridge area at the edge of the Aileo map. This bridge leads into a desert canyon of stone with very high walls and a sandy/rock floor. There’s only one way to go (and any time there’s not the quest barriers it off with force-fields) so the whole thing is pretty easy ‘go forward on the path’ to beat the quest and open the area. This is called:

Sagan Mountain Road West
Mannon is waiting for you near a new teleportation stand at the start of this canyon type area. The quest to accept is “To Retem City”, where you’ll have to defeat some ‘target enemy’ to help build trust with ARKS defenders in that area. You have to complete this before you get access to the normal areas of the town/get free range of Retem region.

To Retem City

Now, you’ll have to fight new enemies that will stand in your way. There are more dolls, the same dolls but with doohickies stapled to them, more native nasties and more ‘lore’ type enemies which are the recycled things from Lilipa this time. As you progress through the canyon various enemies will be waiting and you can't continue without beating them.

New thing:
Mumidog- a native of the desert, it's got a long point on the front, digs in the sand and basically acts like the fish-wolves from Wopal/Vopar. Springs up/flips around, rushes you, etc. It makes similar sounds too.
Spardan A Lore
SignoGun Lore
Sparzyle Lore
Guardinane Lore
Now they're slightly yellowish but they all do the same thing they did in PSO2 on Lilipa.
Following along the canyon path, you’ll come to the Brankle. The Brankle is a pear-shaped Dolls that hovers and spawns tentacle/arms to attack. It serves as a mini-boss about mid way through. Exiting the canyon area a little bit you come to a bridge. Near the bridge is the new Dolls-Deser type enemy.
The Deser Sword, Deser Gun and Deser Launcher.  They are the Retem versions of the Pettas. They have a long flappy ‘tail’ on their heads and seem a little taller but they act really similar. The Deser Launcher does get a new attack though, which is to shoot delayed-blast bullets in a trio.

Once this set is defeated, a camo pattern brown/white/tan android guy will appear, so everyone draws down on him. He raises his hands and says don’t shoot, he’s a defender from the city. He said he thought to help, but you’re doing marvelously on our own. Aina is very happy about this, and says she’s on the way there, so would he mind showing us the way to it?
 He says head south and it’s just beyond the oasis. He’d go, but he’s on a recon mission so farewell for now. He then leaves and the scene ends. Aina doesn’t mind him, and Manon says he seems like he’s been fighting for a long time. Aina wonders if the rest of the city is like that…and Manon confirms that if they are, their battle with DOLLS is just as dire.

Next, on the way to the Oasis there will be another Brancle and the Deser crew.
Passing that, you come upon the oasis. It’s a small pond with nice clear water, convenient rocks and some interesting trees. (The trees resemble strange palms) and Aina wants to kick up for a few and replenish the water. Manon is looking like she’ll soon agree, but an earthquake happens. Aina frets about the noise and a dust cloud comes up near the city, which you can see in the distance. Now, a cut-scene shows photonic blasts setting off against the sandworm which is super long and can jump into the sky pretty high. Manon says about how big it is…and really, it is super duper long.

The ‘city’ looks like it’s built under the arch of some fallen giant piece of machinery. It’s decorated with lots of cloth banners and flags (much like how Ailio town was) but that’s about all you can see from the distance of the oasis. The worm is probably several city-blocks in length, if the cut-scene is to be believed. 100s of meters.

It fortunately doesn’t show up, or the hail of gunfire from earlier keeps it away from the city, so the next scene your character, Aina and Manon are just ‘already at’ the city. Everyone looks around and finds a white tent set up ‘indoors’ (as everything under this metal thing is sort-of inside already) where there are injured people being tended to by others. However, everyone’s interrupted by the arrival of three new people who are the authorities here.

They say “halt, intruders” and the woman says Crawford spoke of you, so you have to follow her.
She introduces herself as Nadereh, with Jalil who is her lieutenant and Moshen. They’re both casts with somewhat tall abstract designs. Their color scheme fits the area, with cloth accents and camo patterns, and neither one has a face. Nadereh herself has interesting hair. She’s a middle-dark brown color with black hair that is a burgundy-purple underneath. To show this, she puts it in a ponytail where it fans out wide behind her.

Aina brings up the huge Dolls from earlier, it’s the Renus Retem, explains Nadereh. Jalil calls it the perpetual thorn in everyone’s side. Moshen says no fatalities this time, but it’s beset the area for years on end. She says she already knows that you came for help but she can’t help because their hands are tied due to the Renas Retem and all of the Dolls attacks.
 Aina doesn’t like this. Nadereh knows what happened to Ailio town, and Falz needs dealt with but with Renus Retem always on the prowl, they can’t aid other regions. She apologizes for wasting the time, so rest first…she won’t turn you out right away.

 Hadi returns from his recon mission and is sorry he couldn’t help this time. (He is the Camo-Pattern Android you saw earlier who watched the trio battle the Dolls in Sagan Mountain Road, then left for his recon mission.) He doesn’t want the trio to leave town. Nadereh asks why he stops her from throwing out the 3 people. He tells her about the time he heard “the 3 defeated the Nex Ailio”. (This disregards Dozer, who's help WAS necisary at the time of the plot to beat it, but oh well) Hadi thinks that it’s a way to defeat the Renes Retem, is to enlist the help of the Ailio people who are here now. Jalil doesn’t believe it. Moshen nods his mono-eye head in doubt as well. Nedereh says it’s a terrible battle…so are you really prepared? She’ll welcome their aid. (And probably hear more from the trio as well, instead of just kicking everyone out)

Aina asks what’s going on with Retem?
The dolls are making them lose resources. A repository was under its jurisdiction, but a horde of dolls got there. They’re trying to defend the city, so there’s no forces to spare in doing anything else. Aina says let’s go get the dolls out of there first then. Nadereh says that’ll prove what the Nex Ailo defeaters will do there. She wishes you good luck. Hadi then says to go to Murabba Canyon, it is within the northern mountains.

To activate the next part of the story you’ll have to meet one of the story characters near there but first…

Now, a new cast appears, Guiden.
He’s an ARKS instructor from the region. The enemies there are fierce so you can come visit him for support. Then, the intro for Side Tasks appears to introduce those. There will be different NPCs in different ARKS bases that will give out lots of EXP if you keep taking them. Pretty much loads of npcs in the area then get the ‘have a task’ icon over them so you can get started with leveling. So, that part is mostly ‘game mechanics’ that does not seem to have anything to do with the story much.

An all right introduction.
Everything plays out pretty much exactly like Crawford said it would. Why Aina was so surprised that Nadereh/or whoever they met at the time was like 'no help right off the bat' is a mystery. Crawford basically told everyone "you're going to have to offer help with the Dolls before Retem's going to help you", yet when that happened she was about to get upset. Of course, you'd have to prove you can get rid of dolls, then actually do it to get the needed stuff out of the Dolls territory.

Why are the Dolls messing with the resources?
Do they just turn up to stop people from doing things they want because they are ornery? (Ex. Make everyone miserable and bad so defeat everything a person tries to do) Do the Dolls actually need stuff? They meddle with the mining rigs in "Mining Rig Defense Ailio" the EQ as well, so that's 2 incidences of Dolls messing with people trying to collect resources--so it's obvoiusly in-character for them to do this but people need to start asking what and why.

Nadereh at the Graves

If you talk to Aina at the edge of the city, Manon will meet up with you to head out to Murabba canyon. However, Manon hears something up ahead and the others follow her toward the sound instead. She looks down from the top of the dune sadly, to see a scattering of different bubbling/scrolling blue tablets that are set up in a sandy patch with flowers. There, the trio finds Nadereh at a graveyard singing a sad song. They apologize for intruding, and she explains that Retem values every soldier. If even one more name can be prevented from being added, it would matter. Each monument contains 1000 names at least, and Nadereh vows to become stronger to make sure no more names are added. The scene ends, but you can look over the tablets.

There are about 49,000 dead people. (counting all the tablets)

Now, you can find Aina at the start of Murabba canyon. She’ll call Manon and they get dolls readings from everywhere, so Manon thinks we should climb down into the valley instead.

Along the way you can find a gray metal thing with 2 prongs on top. It’s pretty vertical and maybe 3 meters high. Manon thinks for some reason that it might produce sound, though it is quiet there. They saw it in the city too. Manon doesn’t think they’re dangerous. Next, you have to fight your way past more native type badguys and sand Dolls.

The Transovre appears:
These are somewhat innocuous looking 8 sided polygon pyramid things that hover near the ground
. They’re black and red, and create an impenetrable red hex based shield around them from all attacks. There’s already quite a few dolls around them in the canyon, which of course, attack you. While you battle those though, Aina and Manon will observe the Transovre items.
Once enough dolls near them are defeated, they summon more…infinitely. And it’s not small fry either, it churns out the ever annoying Deser crew who have way too much hp for anyone’s good, just as the Pettas crew did back in Aelio. Fortunately, Manon figures out that the Transovre has to lower the shield when it summons more dolls. This is the only way to destroy it.

Lure the dolls over to the Transovres so any AOE attacks you do are always hitting them also. That way when they open up they’ll get struck by everyone on the team. If gunning, put the dolls in front of the Transovre while you are behind it and spread shots all around. As long as there's always damage going on around them/on top of them it won't matter as much when they open or not.

If you can break all 3 of those…
The Lizentos will appear further along in the canyon.

This is a T-rex shaped large dolls about the size of probably…an actual Tyrannosaur Dinosaur. However, it’s interesting and better because it does not move like one. It can scorpion the tail and shoot, it leaps, blasts, and spins around to get you. It is thicker/denser than the dinosaur it’s inspired by as well. It can (and will) run or rocket along very fast. It has fancy foot claws which can be broken off the tops of the feet to help it lose traction. When it is lower on HP, like all Dolls things, it will turn red and get crystals/fins and extra attacks. When it glows bright red it can zoom/charge around at rocket speed…but this can be ‘broken’ off of it with more attacks. If you can beat the boss, a mining guy will come out (miners were driven into hiding by all the dolls spawned at the Transovres)

Aina notices a door in the wall, and Manon says that’s how they transported the stuff. (That’s actually pretty vague? There’s a square door in the rock wall of the canyon and she just…? What? Knows there’s a goods teleporter back there or something?) The guy says thanks, now that mining can continue, thanks for saving everyone.  Now, you can return to the city to make the report.

When you go toward Nadereh’s office area, you get inside right away and, Moshen is amazed and apologizes for doubting the strength of the trio. He’s really formal about it and actually seems pretty upset for doubting you earlier. He does a bow. Jalil doesn’t approve of what he says/how apologetic he is. He grumbles about it, after Moshen kind of says “well they really did”, and acknowledges them too. All this seems to make Aina really happy (which makes sense, remember she’s always looking for praise because her father wouldn’t let her help or praise her fighting ability because he wanted her to stay safe and stay away from everything bad so he’d never promote her, etc) Hadi I told you so’s them all and they regard him with their abstract faces. Remember, none of the three have facial features capable of movement or change.

Manon wants to ask something to Moshen.
What are the speaker like objects scattered everywhere? Moshen says they amplify songs. It shows you a bit of a cut-scene where you can inspect one, and it looks like there are the round ‘bass speaker’ textures on the inner parts of the forks. He tells everyone that Nadereh’s family (the rulers of the Retem region…curious they’ve got a nepotism/kings/queens thing going on here) have a unique power. The Song of War empowers defenders who fight dolls. Aina wonders why she doesn’t use the awesome power now. Jalil and Moshen agitate just a little bit about this, but Hadi says everyone has a right to know if we’ll all fight together. He wants to meet up at “the altar” to tell you more. Manon wonders about that while everyone goes to the Altar. Manon & Aina advise to prepare before going towards it because a Dolls fight might break out.

The scene ends.

Someone asking for more plot info? And then getting it? Good!
A very concice and well done piece of story. You found out about the bad thing, went off to stop it, that worked, and questions were asked as well as answered. Real progress, and nothing out of character. Very nice

Munira and Rizwana are the 2 duman women who guard the Nadereh office area. Once you clear out Murabba canyon, they’re happy about it, and will encourage you.

A Flicker of Resistance

When you go find Hadi in the desert to head to the Altar Area, he’s alone, but asks if you’re ready to go to the Altar. This is called A Flicker of Resistance. Hadi says the altar is under their care, as is the canyon. It was used as a sacred place where ceremonies were held but now it’s hardly used because dolls always show up there now. Aina and Manon show up also, so the trio will head over there. *It turns out this is actually the Retem equivielent area to Mt. Magnus in Aelio where enemies are always spawining/you can run around fighting all you want--but here in story mode you can actually clea it out.

As you enter the area which has many platforms, ramps and other things built by…whatever was building these metal constructs all over the planet, a Sand Doltz and some desert Tinoses will appear. Hadi says the Dolls will interrupt us, so can you help clear out these pests first? It is questionable why he needed the trio to come here to explain the thing. It's more dramatic and believable the story telling it where it happened, but it has the side effect of 'using the trio' to rid of more Retem Dolls because he knew those would always turn up anyway.

Now, 3 targets appear, each one leads to a different enemy clear out.
The first has the Crowpa claw worm, Glassneg the snake that throws rocks, and Roufinbear (the hairy banehog of the desert) Hadi is impressed the sand didn’t slow them down, so Aina explains that they trained on the beach all the time back home.

A bubble Snapper then will appear on a platform next. After that, a Metius will appear with various Deser Crew baddies on another platform. The Metius is a new enemy that looks like a vaguely person, very tall with a ‘cape’ which is actually arms. The ‘arms’ are stiff/metal things with ‘speaker’ texture on the front. This can be used to boost other dolls. So, the dolls are also using sound to do things here? No one touches on this....

Continue on with NGS Story Guide Page 2 .