I got seriously stuck in Wild Arms yesterday and today.  I’d finished everything in Port Timney and there wasn’t much left on the world map that I hadn’t explored except for some Elw Ruins.  These are cool places that have teleporters in them and when you use them you get beamed up into space and then bounced back down to another Elw Ruin someplace else.  Handy way to get around quickly.

So I went to the one Elw Ruin I hadn’t been to and found a locked door inside that I couldn’t open.  Huh?

I tried all my skills.  I tried all my items.  I switched characters.  I cast spells.  I cursed and nearly threw my controller all to no avail.  I gave up for the night and went back to it today and literally had no idea what to do so I looked at a walkthrough on GameFAQs.  I hate doing that but I also hate being stuck.

Turns out I had apparently overlooked at least two chests somewhere in the game that contained items called Duplicators.  One of these Duplicators is needed to open the locked door.  I wandered around and around looking for unopened chests and eventually had to consult the walkthrough again to help me find them.  And, sure enough, they contained the needed Duplicators.

I don’t mind puzzles.  They add something to a game that can move it beyond the realm of combat and levelling.  What I don’t like are cheap obstacles like this one.  As far as I can tell there’s no clue that you missed an important chest and no clue that you even need a particular item.  Without a walkthrough I would have been doomed to wander around, possibly for hours, becoming even more frustrated than I am right now.

Many more of these situations and my feeling about Wild Arms are going to turn pretty sour.