"A seed of life in loves embrace. Set free a baby cries. Truth forgotten, a journey begins.
This is the year 1999, in the town of Angolmois. You may notice something about that date and those names, if you're a fan of Nostradamus:
“In the year 1999 and seven months, from the sky will come the great King of Terror. He will bring back to life the great King of Angolmois. Before and after Mars reigns supreme.”
There are a ton of alternate translations for this, and most of them try to change Angolmois into something else, like "The Mongols" or "Angola." The Nostradamus prophecies are certainly not an exact science. "Mars reigns supreme" is often translated as "War reigns supreme," as another example.
Let's go see our house!
"Mama is angry!"
Oh ma, always with the curlers, always with the ritually burning crosses into your palm.
Better explore the town!
There's a museum.
Oh hey a girl. Will you be showing me around ma'am?
The curator here shows us a sacred urn and a sacred vessel. One is a bronze container and the other a vase looking thing. Not too exciting yet.
We talk to some of the villagers and learn that a meteor recently struck. That probably explains the huge crater. Let's check it out!
"Right by our science laboratory! Hah! We're collecting meteor fragments for study. Oh?! New discovery!"
Assistant: "Yabahama, we should celebrate!"
Ok, so we've got mysterious pottery at the site of the asteroid crash, being studied by a professor Yabahama and his assistant. I'm sure this is just part of the world building and will never be important again.
Man this town kind of sucks, let's bounce.
Damn, guess we need to activate some flags! I wonder what's outside the town?
Here is the first overworld map. We learn from the people in the houses that storms are covering the Earth, and that the monks in our home town's temple believe in reincarnation. There's a field below the middle house called "Wild Beast Crossing," remember that for later. The very bottom house has a wise old man.
"Understand and master time. Ancient one knows Satori."
Satori is the ability to see the world's true nature, the state of Buddhist enlightenment.
Well, everyone's talking about Buddha stuff so we might as well go to that shrine.
Oh no there's not going to be another curator is there?!
Oh thank God. Anyways the temple isn't that exciting. All the monks just talk about reincarnation and how "Mara" is really cool. If you're familiar with the Megaten games you know Mara as a giant penis of evil, but here it's just a different name for the historical Siddhartha Buddha. Potato, potahto.
In one of the Stupas (towers) a monk mentions that they have the Maha Mara Scroll, where Mara's teachings are written.
Become enlightened! Form of...FISH.
Let's check out the main shrine.
Gohonzon is a Japanese term for a Buddhist idol.
"He became a Buddha and his flesh...divine."
So they have a corpse in their temple. Still not nearly as bad as that curator.
It's also worth noting that that particular kind of corpse is a thing that certain Buddhists do. A monk will have himself buried alive, meditating the entire time, with a tube for breathing. Later the monks pour poison down the tube, which helps preserve the body. If the body doesn't rot, they are declared a Buddha and their corpse is kept as a Gohonzon.
Elsewhere in the temple we find a mysterious door.
"When it opens...a joyous day."
Probably nothing important.
After exploring the shrine, if we go back to the Wild Beast Crossing...
And carry this old woman back. She thanks us for helping her to the shrine, saying that old people can be ambushed...
THEN SHE TRANSFORMS INTO-
A not very threatening demon...seriously the curator was way worse than this guy. The Chinese character on his crotch flap is the word for "Power." It's a popular tattoo for people who can't read Chinese.
Well I only know one place where anything can be looted at the temple, so let's check the Stupa with the Maha Mara Scroll.
Well damn Buddha scrolls must be like steroids for demons. Hell's baseball league is always testing for Mantra chants.
Well...no one knows WE brought that thing here...let's just see how the head monk is handling all this.
"Tears fall from the skies...Our faith is in you brave initiate!"
Initiate? Wha? Hey dude, I just visited like, one time. I know I nodded when you talked and stuff but-
"8 elements compose the Trigram. You have 1 find 7 more. The five elements of the Trigram are Wood Fire Water Earth and Metal. Restore order to the Cosmos. Make the Trigram!"
Restore order to the cosmos? Hey man I live in a village and my mom screams at me while burning herself with cigarettes. I don't think I'm really qualified. I don't even have any cool stuff to help save the world.
Well great, now we have a wooden box and we have to save the Cosmos. Too bad we have no idea where that demon went. If we visit the door again we see it's open, and the monk there tells us that the Earth used to be protected by Guardian Angels, and that Suzaku the bird is the guardian of the South, and he is enshrined in the temple.
I guess this "savior" business is as good an excuse as any to get on a train and out of this dump.
And thankfully the train is working now. It's too bad trains run on those tracks, or else the Earthquake wouldn't have affected us getting out of here while the getting was good eh?