"Did you notice...?" 

(Spoilers abound in all sections. If you haven't finished the game, shoo.)

 

In-game Oddities
Odd things I noticed while playing Vagrant Story, and stray musings.

Names

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Shakespere characters, from "Hamlet" I think. 
  • The first undead knight you meet in the Wine Cellar (the one who asks you to "stop the pain") is named Mandel.
  • Grissom's knights are named Faemdos and Lamkin.
  • Duane's knights are named Sarjik and Bejart.
  • And the two knights you fight at the very beginning (the ones discussing the Cloudstones) are Goodwin and Sackheim.

Character Stuff
  • The ghost boy Merlose sees throughout the game is Sydney, not Joshua. It’s easy to tell them apart; Sydney has a belt, Josh doesn't. And I'm pretty sure Syd has a jewel at his collar while Joshua just has little strings/stitches.
  • An obvious one, but Duane and Grissom are brothers. 
  • Duane likes to tap his left foot a lot. Just do a close-up in battle and watch him.
  • Ashley seems to have his psychic link with women only. 
  • In the scene with Grissom, Tieger, and Neesa at the end of the game, watch Neesa's arm. It's limp, she holds it like it's injured, and she doesn't have her hammer out even though Tieger's holding his axe. Looks to me like she was injured somewhere along the line.
  • Grissom gets some painfully ironic foreshadowing. He's standing there the whole time Guildenstern and Samantha are talking about incomplete death. 
  • How did Grissom get from the forest to the Undercity? When I wrote it in Swan Song I just figured he woke up and walked there himself, but the game doesn't say. (Though the Ultimania guide gives some hints.)
  • The two zombie knights you meet at the forest river are the knights that were with Grissom, Faemdos and Lamkin. I think one is missing an arm. Maybe they got too close to those vicious bird-fish, heh.

Misc
  • Try looking up in “The Withered Springs” (in the Catacombs). There’s no ceiling, it’s the first time you really see the light of day after entering Lea Monde.
  • There are FFT referances creeping up through the game. (I listed a few of them further down the page.)
  • The writing around the Rood on the title screen is the A.J Durai quote, yet it's something else in the official game art. 
  • A.J. Durai is the narrator of Final Fantasy Tactics, the son of one of the characters.
  • Rood means “crucifix”. (Look it up, it’s in the dictionary.)
  • People die oddly in that game. The ones that turn into dust supposedly had some kind of pact with the Dark. (Sydney, Rosencrantz, Hardin.) Yet some of the people who use magick in the game didn't do this. (Duane, Grissom.) Maybe "using the Dark" means more than tinkering with a few spells, a "selling your soul" kind of thing. 
  • If you kill Duane before his two knights they'll yell at you. Check the script, I included it.
  • Grissom will occasionally attack Sydney in the forest. I let the forest battle drag out for almost an hour, letting Grissom beat up on Ashley and Sydney, and about once every ten to twenty attacks Grissom will actively go after Sydney rather than Ashley. On the other hand, Sydney will NEVER attack Grissom. Ever. He'll take a swing at Dark Crusader occasionally (doing about four damage) and cast spells on Ashely, but he'll never attack Grissom no matter how much Grissom hits him. [At least, I've never seen him do it. I've fought Grissom three times, one of those times for a full hour, so I'm pretty sure he won't attack Grissom. ]
  • Ashley's pants have no back. Neither do Hardin's. And Sydney's barely have a front. There's a perfectly logical explination. The back-less shorts are convenient for when nature calls in the middle of a dungeon. You don't want to be fussing with armour for long when bats and goblins are trying to kill you. And as for Sydney, his metal hands wouldn't make dressing himself the easiest thing in the world. Still, we all know Square just likes to dress 'em like that. At least Vagrant Story has the distinction of having more scantily clad male characters than females.

 

Roods

"Rood" means "crucifix". It's in the dictionary. It's also the religious symbol that pops up a lot in Vagrant Story. You'd be surprised at how often you see it; these are only a few instances I noticed.

Characters
Sydney 
  • The Rood Inverse tattoo on his back. 
Guildenstern 
  • Rood Inverse on his back after he steals it from Sydney. 
Ashley 
  • At the end he has a normal Rood on his back, though it’s very bright red 
  • Two roods on either side of his shorts
  • The necklace
Tia 
  • Her necklace, the same one Ashley’s wearing
Crimson Blades
  • All the Blades have a little sword-and-rose symbol somewhere on their uniform that forms a Rood, and Roods decorating their uniforms.
Grissom
  • He crosses himself in a Rood pattern just before he kills the cultist, and while Guildenstern is talking about incomplete death. 
  • Same as the rest of the Blades, he has the rood-and-rose thing on his uniform.
Mullenkamp
  • She has a normal Rood on her back


Monsters
Training dummies 
  • All the dummies have roods on them somewhere.
  • The human-shaped dummies have Roods on them where Blades do.
  • The undead dummy has one on its chest.
  • The Phantom dummy has one on its face. 
Crusaders (aka, Dullahans)
  • Sometimes have a Rood on their shoulder plate.
Death
  • Death has a Rood on its back
Guildenstern (final boss forms)
  • The sword his demon form has is a Holy Win, shaped like a Rood
  • Look at his angel form closely. It’s shaped like a Rood. 
  • Guildenstern’s “Bloody Sin” attack conjured up a Rood
Architecture
  • Iron Maiden B2 is shaped like a Rood.
  • Many of the doorways and archways have Roods on them.
  • The giant Rood on the ceiling in the Atrium.
  • The giant Rood on the floor in the cathedral room where Ashley finds Sydney.
  • The cathedral room where you fight the Ifrit has a big Rood-shaped crack on the back wall.
  • Many of the female statues in Lea Monde and the Duke’s manor have Rood swords.
Other
  • The menu screen and start-up screen have a Rood in the background.
  • The Paling (the magick platform Ashley fights on at the end of the game) is a giant Rood circle.
  • The Jazzerait Shield has a Rood on it.
  • The Holy Win is shaped like a Rood.
  • The Advent Sign break art makes a Rood.
  • Radial Surge makes the Rood circle when cast.
  • The little symbol that indicates Ashley has a Magic Ward active is a Rood.

 

Ultimania Guide Oddities
All these are derived from a translation of the Vagrant Story Ultimania guide, provided by this site. Kudos to the site owner for taking the time to translate it. Not sure how accurate it is since I can't read the book myself, but all these can be filed under the "interesting if true" category. Any quotes are directly from that site's translation.

  • At the end of the game, Ashley is essentially a living vessel for all the Dark-touched dead souls. With Leá Monde gone, all the souls are funnelled into Ashley himself. His purpose in life is now to "smooth out the wrinkles where the world of the Dark collided with Reality".
  • Everyone who was in Leá Monde is linked to Ashley now. If they don't meet him again during life, their souls will at least go through him in death.
  • Grissom likely died of cardiac arrest while he was trying to summon Dark Crusader; the power was simply more than his body could handle, and it killed him. But due to all the magick flowing through him at the time, he was somehow revived by the Dark, only to "die" again when Ashley stabbed him in the heart. His soul re-possessed his own body by pure, dumb luck, so he wandered around -- until meeting Ashley, Neesa, and Tieger in the Undercity -- without ever knowing he was dead.

 

FFT Referances
Referances to Final Fantasy Tactics, which means spoilers!!!
  • Agrias' Balm - Balm used by the great knight Agrias as told in the Zodiac Brave Story.
    Agrias was Ovelia's guardian knight.
  • Orlandu - Actinolite containing a fragment of Orlandu's skeleton. Increases power against humans.
    Everyone should remember ol' Thunder God Cid.
  • Beowulf - Armandine holding Beowulf the Great's hair. Increases power against phantoms.
    Beowolf, the guy who's in love with the dragon-chick, Reis.
  • Altema - Garnet containing Altema the Fallen's spirit. Increases power against evil enemies.
    Altema, the biggest push-over in the history of Final Fantasy bosses.
  • A.J. Durai
    The narrator of Final Fantasy Tactics.