Tag Archive: Salvage Request


Terra Incognita

5/15

Cortica River—Today I got a salvage request for the Medieval Staff, and what do you know, it’s been located within that unexplored region of the Cortica River. Now I’ve got the perfect excuse to recruit an Amazon River dolphin and take a peak at the new world. We go immediately to the river, but as usual in this game, there are some conditions that must be met. First, I have to bring a female dolphin partner with me. I’d been randomly assigning male or female names to my dolphins without considering the gender (monstrous parenting, that), but helpfully Jean-Eric reminds me that Pinky Tuscadero is indeed a female and can accompany me. Now that I’ve got Pinky, we head up King Amaru’s canal into the courtyard of the Twilight Temple, where I see a pink dolphin standing out from the rest. Jean-Eric informs me that I’ve got to approach the dolphin on Pinky’s back. I look for my Pinky, but my wingman’s nowhere to be found. I have to retreat back down the canal to find her lollygagging at the entrance. Meanwhile, J-E is yelling in my head that I need my partner, need my partner! Alright, I’ve got my partner and ride her into the courtyard, now what? We have to chase the river dolphin while she and Pinky get acquainted. Basically, I have to keep her in my line of sight, but if we lose her, J-E helpfully tells us when we’re getting closer. This goes on for several head-spinning minutes until Pinky and the dolphin are completely simpatico, after which I’m introduced as a really cool friend.  We dance, and without much thought, I name her Dora.

Dora, the Explorer

Now that she’s on the team, it’s time to enlist her help clearing that dam. After we clear it, I take a reflective moment before breaching the threshold. 

This is it—weeks of waiting and hard work have led to this day, and I’m finally going to see this final, completely new region of the Endless Ocean. I wonder, did Cortez feel this way, gaining at last the peak in Darien from which his eyes would behold the limitless Pacific for the first time? Resolutely, I press through, the gap widening around me to reveal…

Queen Lake

Eh, not much. Queen Lake, so it’s called, is basically a murky brown watering hole. Its sole inhabitants are some indolent manatees mindlessly grazing on hydrilla near the surface. Aside from the Medieval Staff, there is no limitless treasure, no sunken ruins. As I leave, I notice a few tambaqui that weren’t there before, so there’s that. Maybe by removing an obstacle, Dora and I have invited in a new community of fish. This at least will make it worth visiting in the future. Until then, I guess you can call me disappointed.  

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5/10
Ciceros Strait—Off on a salvage request to find the Diamond Watch, then GG and I combed the strait looking for treasure. I’ve learned that a lot of the best stuff lies scattered far from the wrecks themselves. We finished our tour at the Emerald Lady, where I tried a technique of inviting the sharks to assault me, zapping them as they charged. I got beat up some, but eventually they gave me enough elbow room to seize a few treasures and fill out the bag. It was actually kind of fun. In total, we raked in about 11,000 P.
 
Afterwards, I took Hayako with me into the northeast area of the map looking for new creatures. A ‘???’ appeared on the fishmap, with a tiny red dot moving incredibly fast in a wide circuit across the North Canyon. Streaking past, it appeared to be a particularly athletic Atlantic sailfish, one that seemed impossible to catch. Each time I tried to chase it, it immediately outpaced me, disappearing like an arrow in the distance. I had to abandon that tactic and hang back, tracking the bogey on Hayako’s radar, edging into its path, waiting for the chance to intercept it. After several lunges, I managed to get my cursor on it and fire. Presto! It’s Gungnir, a legendary sailfish named after Odin’s magic spear in Norse Mythology. He owes his incredible speed to overdeveloped muscles; with his battered spike he’s staved in many a fisherman’s hull. 

Gungnir

Worth more than a dangol' "C" I tell you what.

5/2

Not much excitement to report except a couple of boneheaded mistakes: In the real world, I’d had a busy weekend, so on Sunday night I was rushing around getting everything done for Monday so I could settle down to a nice, calming EO session before bed. Imagine my shock and dismay when I found that my disc wouldn’t play. Even more ominously, the disc would not eject. I got online to seek advice. Resetting, turning it off, unpluggining it, turning it upside down, nothing worked. It was like the disc had disappeared into the console forever; now I would have to mail it back to Nintendo and no more games for 6-8 weeks, and then all the data would be erased and I’d have to start all over again. Unflappably, my wife asked if the disc was even in there. “Of COURSE it’s in there!” I said in my most reasonable shout.  “I just put it in myself, didn’t I?!”  Didn’t I? Well, no I didn’t—it was sitting there innocently in its case, waiting to be inserted. Heh. Never mind.

My second mistake was within the game world, but no less stupid. I was on a lucrative treasure quest for the Baron’s Book among the icebergs of the Weddell Sea. Since I’d found it so easily—and 2 days before the deadline, too—I decided to play, entering the Hall of Radiance to fulfill a photo request and just basically hang out, finding two new coins (Cancer, Uranus) and a new species (the tiny bald notothen) in the little niches that dimple the hall. 

Then I was back in the boat and ready to go home, when I decided to take another look for that elusive Blue Bird. I’ve got it in my head that the appearance of said bird coincides with the aurora borealis, so I went in the cabin and napped until midnight. No aurora tonight, so I went home. Interesting science fact: Midnight is the start of a new day (even though it’s, like, dark outside—isn’t that weird?). So our 2 -day cushion was reduced to 1 day, which was eaten up in travel. When I got to the docks on Nineball, GG was lamenting the fact that I’d slept through the deadline on that 2900-P book.

The news depressed me, so I took another nap. When I awoke the next morning, I found my Hall of Radiance photo buried on page 7 with a “C” grade. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to get out of bed.

7/26

Ciceros Strait—After taking another beating from the sharks around the Emerald Lady while trying to retrieve a treasure request, I decided to do a field study, which I’m publishing here under the title,

Spatiotemporal Patterns of White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) Predation in the Ciceros Strait Region, Aegean Sea

Research Goal: To test my hypothesis that there’s a single pack of white sharks that moves from place to place, and that if I can predict where the sharks will (or more to the point, will not) be at a certain time and place, I can salvage to my heart’s content without being molested by the finny fiends.

Method: I first checked the distribution of great whites in the Ciceros region with my Marine Encyclopedia and determined that they can be found at three principle locations: C1 (Wreck of the Flamingo), E1 & 2 (Pride of Athens, North Canyon), and H7 (The Emerald Lady). I then visited all three sites at different times of day (sunrise, noon, sunset, midnight) in the company of Hayako Sakurai, Ph.D., who kept the shark location data, and recorded the occurence and behavior of white sharks in these vicinities.

Findings:

Flamingo (C1)—Great whites are here at sunrise and noon, but after sunset migrate east to the North Canyon region. At sunset and midnight, the breakfast club yields this territory to nocturnal sand tiger sharks, unhandsome but harmless.

Great whites off the Flamingo, noon

Sand tiger, Flamingo, midnight

 Pride of Athens (E1)—At sunrise and noon, no sharks at all appear, but at sunset, the great whites, pursuing shoals of bluefin tuna from the west, arrive on this site, where they soon forget the bluefins and feast on human flesh with voracious abandon. At midnight, the whites expand their feeding ground to the North Canyon (E2)—there, amid winding benthic walls, the unwary traveller is prey to their pitiless ferocity. 

Emerald Lady (H7)—No time of day, not even midnight on Christmas Eve, is safe from their relentless marauding. Unless they can be in two places at once, the sharks here appear to be distinct from their brethren to the north. At sunset and noon, the common carchardons are accompanied by the legendary Thanatos. He participates in the slaughter in the blood-red hours of sunset, while at noon, you can often see him skulking around the periphery, supervising things from afar. Between midnight and daybreak I never saw him. Indeed, at daybreak, the white shark population around the Emerald Lady seems to be at its lowest ebb. At least until you show up.

Hell yes, I crapped my wetsuit!

Conclusions:

  • There are two distinct packs of white sharks—the northern pack, which migrates west and east during the day; and the southeastern pack, which circles the Emerald Lady.
  • Best time to visit the Flamingo is after sunset.
  • Best time to visit the Pride of Athens is during daylight hours.
  • No time is safe for visitors to the Emerald Lady. However, if you arrive early in the morning and aggressively pulsar the first sharks to appear, you may gain up to 60 seconds worth of salvage time before the rest bear down. I was able to bring up about 4 items with minimal mauling this way.
  • At all costs, do not visit this region at sunset, when Thanatos is on the loose.

Some other observations about sharks:

  • Dolphins, despite all those Flipper episodes to the contrary, will not save you from sharks. They are cowards who will desert you at the first sign of trouble. (Hey, it had to be said.)
  • The “Danger” species are: Great white, tiger, greenland, bluntnose six-gill, and goblin. All others are harmless.
  • Zapping sharks with the pulsar gun works for a good long time in all species except the great whites and greenlanders.
  • If the sharks attack while you’re searching for treasure, the “Danger” sign will interfere with your multisensor. You won’t be able to retrieve a treasure even when it’s right in front of your face. Zap, get away and reapproach the site.
  • Staying in motion will help you avoid sharks most of the time, but not always.
  • Dodging rarely works.
  • Just be thankful they don’t eat you.

The Ghost of Valka Castle

4/14

Valka Castle, midnight—It happened: we saw the Valka Castle ghost.  It started innocently enough—I was on a routine salvage request when I slipped up and took Oceana with me as my dive partner instead of GG. The map clue was obvious and we found the treasure almost immediately off the wreck of the Blood Lotus. With plenty of time on our hands, I suggested we go raid Valka Castle once more. Without GG, my salvage bag only carries 15 items, so I’ll have to be more discriminating, but I wanted to try a technique I’d heard about for screening out less valuable loot. Forget books and anything that doesn’t light up any of the symbols on the mutlisensor—they’re only plastic junk. Mysterious chests that are wood only are empty—go for things that are made of composite materials, wait for a lightning flash, etc.

Entering the Spiral Tower of the castle, the screen fades into a cutscene. “Y’know, I heard this place was haunted,” Oceana says. This is it—we’re finally going to meet the ghost!

I swear those eyes are following me...

As we pass through each doorway, the screen goes dark and a familiar dialog round fires up: “You go first.” “No, I insist—you first.” “Why, are you scared?” “I’m not scared, are you scared?” It’s like Abbott and Costello. Valka Castle at night is creepy enough. When you expect a ghost around any corner, it’s unbearable. The dark windows, the rotting shelves, tattered curtains, the mouldy paintings, even the gleam of small fish on the floor is eerie.

When the ghost appears, it’s a disappointment, inevitably. But it sure was fun to pretend that we were going to be scared by it. ‘Cause I was never really scared, you know. No way, not me.

Gaaaaaaaah!!

Well, now that the ghost is exposed, we can continue with our treasure hunting. My tactic of being picky  turns out to be a good one—we hauled up a ton of valuable loot, including a treasure chest worth 12,000. Our tally now comes to over 500,000 P. Halfway there!