Ulara — Solidarity

“There are no Humans or Winglies when it comes to the end of the world. You don’t need to thank us.”

Winglies have supposedly gone extinct after Humans prevailed in the Dragon Campaign, yet the party meets several Winglies over the course of the game. Some of them are antagonists of unknown background, one — Meru — becomes a party member. Meru’s home is the Forest of Winglies, a settlement within Evergreen Forest protected by a magic barrier that prevents Humans from entering. Winglies have shut themselves in following the events of the Dragon Campaign, and many of them still feel resentment towards Humans, clinging to their past glory. Though they used to possess unparalleled magic power, they are now merely a shadow of their former selves, barely able to keep themselves in the air with their wings and their magic power declining day by day.

While Meru’s settlement is split between hostile, proud Winglies and supportive Winglies that question the status quo and the rift between the races, another settlement at the Spring Breath Town Ulara is nothing but openly supportive. That is where the party is headed at the start of Disc 4 to receive guidance as to what actions to take in response to the many shocking revelations just before. As it turns out, Rose has been allied with Ulara’s Winglies for the past 11,000 years: The choker that grants her immortality was crafted by them, and it also holds the spell that reveals the hidden town amidst the endless desert that is the Death Frontier.

Immediately upon entering the town via teleportation device, it is clear that the Winglies are on very good terms with Rose. This is an understatement, because the refreshing thing about the town is how fond everyone is of Rose and how familiarly they speak to her. The Winglies of Ulara know Rose well, genuinely care about her as a person and look out for her well-being while sympathizing with her extreme circumstances. Just look at the welcome she receives:

Caron: Welcome to Ulara, the Spring Breath Town. I am the guard of the teleporting device, Caron. I’m a good friend of Rose’s.
Rose: Long time no see.
Caron: “Long time”? Rose, you are starting to regain a sense of time, aren’t you? No, not only that. You have recovered a lot of other things too.
Dart: Are you the person who stopped time for Rose?
Rose: No, it was Charle Frahma. She is the person we have to meet now.
Caron: Rose has been carrying the fate of the world all alone while shedding tears of blood. Can you go with Rose?
Rose: Caron, stop it. I don’t need to force them.

An Old Friend

Charle Frahma is their de facto leader — or perhaps mayor — and the sister of the former dictator Melbu Frahma. Unlike her brother, Charle doesn’t believe in the supremacy of Winglies, but would rather that all races, though different in appearance and capabilities, live together in peace. In the far past, she wanted her brother to stop his cruel reign.

Though she is implied to have possessed a lot of magic power, her brother’s must have been greater. The settlement she’s part of also used to be friends with Gigantos, back when they still existed.

Charle is delighted to see Rose again, even though the situation looks grim. Though she’s chattier than Rose seems to be comfortable with, it’s evident they’re very close and that their relationship dates far back, seeing how the Wingly even knows — and fondly remembers — Zieg from the time during or even before the Dragon Campaign.

Charle: Oh Rosie darling! I have been waiting for you!
Rose: I don’t need your greetings. You know what I want to ask you.
Charle: Oh, you are scary. But before that, can you introduce me to the son of dear Zieggy?
Rose: This is Dart.
Charle: Doesn’t he look just like our Zieggy? But Rosie honey, it’s complicated. You have to fight with the son of someone who used to be your significant other. And furthermore, the enemy is the significant other.
Rose: Do you want me to give you a knuckle sandwich?
Charle: Sorry honey. But I’m really concerned. So I’m intentionally making it happy and delightful so that you won’t be depressed, Rosie sweetheart.
Rose: You have never changed.

A Show of Appreciation

The visit to Ulara is so very touching due to the knowledge of everything Rose has gone through — including the emotional turmoil caused by the end of Disc 3 — and all the secrets she has had to keep. Here’s a place that she might call something close to home, where people appreciate her, are friends with her, call her by cutesy names without getting punched, and share at least part of the knowledge and burden that rest on her shoulders. And when Rose returns with companions this time, their utmost priority that shines through the dialogue and all the new information is their earnest desire to make those companions understand where Rose comes from, and not judge her too harshly: “So, we needed our Rosie to take on an important task. Please understand her…” It’s because they have known Rose for so long that they immediately see the change in Rose, without need for Rose to spell it out. And they want nothing more than for Rose to have that small bit of solace.

Of note is also a detail in Ulara’s town design. Though Winglies are this game’s “magic fairy folk”, they aren’t implied to have a close bond to nature (unlike, say, Elves in some JRPGs). The Forest of Winglies is surrounded by trees, yes, and Ulara is a lush oasis in the desert, so they both sport some green. And perhaps things looked vastly different 11,000 years ago in the ancient Wingly cities, but their highly advanced architecture and the ever-present inclusion of magic devices in their buildings generally give off a very cold vibe; the presence of artificial light is overwhelming, and the layouts of buildings are about functionality first and foremost, rather than a harmony of elements. Ulara is different from all that, especially when you compare it to the Forest of Winglies, as they are the two active settlements that the party knows of. I sadly don’t have as many screencaps of the Forest of Winglies to demonstrate this (because the place wasn’t pretty, see), and the difference is more obvious when the player has been through all the Human settlements, which are vibrant and feature plenty of colours and plants.

The noteworthy detail lies in the presence of flowers in Ulara’s town square — more specifically, roses. What’s more, the player’s attention is drawn to those roses: once when several members of the group look at the roses together in an automatically triggered conversation, once in search of optional sidequest items, one of which is hidden amidst the flowers. When you wander the town at night, it is also the Winglies standing in front of those roses that have the most to say about Rose. Given all that, it wouldn’t be a far-fetched assumption to say that these roses were most likely planted by the Winglies in honour of Rose.

When the party is ready to set out on their final journey, all of Ulara’s Winglies assemble to give them a send-off, and to thank Rose again for all that she has done for the sake of the world.