Part 22: The Sign of the... Five?At this point, we're just before three-quarters of the way through the game. Yeah... the latter "half" really goes by fast.
Anyway, as you might remember last time... last time...
It just doesn't feel the same without a jovial father figure there...
Oh, and we got some Broken Armour. You might remember a good 12 updates ago, or so, we broke into Lurvy's house from the roof and he said he'd fix something for free in exchange for keeping his secret. This is the one time that you get something that needs fixing. If you don't break in at any point, he'll charge you about 300 gilder for it instead. Not exactly strapped for cash (...not even 10 minutes away from reaching 9999 at this point), but free equipment shouldn't be scoffed at. Might as well go get Lurvy to fix this armour before seeing what the plot has in store next.
Gustav: It's my daughter...Elene. El...Elene has collapsed! Please, Alundra. I beg you! Use your powers to save my daughter. I swear to you I'll change my ways! But if she dies before... I've been away too long already just to fetch you. I must return to her now. Please come, Alundra. I'm begging you...
I've read that this scene won't trigger if you don't have the Broken Armour yet, but there's a problem with that. The scene that causes the previous day to end and this one to begin has you acquire the Broken Armour in the first place.
Speaking of which!
You can say no, but then all that happens is you keep the Broken Armour so it's pretty much pointless.
Lurvy: You ain't told my little secret to nobody, and I 'preciate that. Thank ye. I reckon I got to keep your secrets too, uh-huh, I do.
Mere seconds later...
By "seconds" I mean "seconds." Not an indescript passage of time masked with a fade to black; he just walks off, you get some sound effects as the camera stays on Alundra and then he comes back with the upgrade.
Lurvy: Purty, ain't it...makes me proud.
With this, we technically have 3x base defense. It's certainly going to be useful in preventing a quick death/Wonder Essence use; you do take roughly half of the amount of damage that is received with the Leather Armour.
Nothing else that isn't just handed over as part of the plot, although this one could be argued either way, so let's go take and save Elene. Should be a fun dungeon, considering her existing disassociative identity disorder and all.
And Giles is still going completely insane. Even without the Soul Leech inhabiting his subconscious any more. It's getting kinda weird actually.
Kisha: How foolish I was to believe that the gods were merciful and kind. They are simply heartless and cruel...nothing more!
As... different as some of the dialogue can be, at least you can easily see the character development in places where it exists. Kisha initially seems a completely insignificant minor character but she's easily one of the more, if not the most, developed bit characters.
Oh and she moves out of the way, which helps.
: Her nightmare will be incredibly complicated to conquer successfully. I can't possibly defeat this one, Alundra. I don't even think you can destroy it... by yourself.
Sadly, you do actually need Meia for this one. Amount of times she's done anything worthwhile? Including this one? 3. The other two being saving Myra and saving some dude who's nameless, faceless and otherwise unimportant.
: Thank you. I know we can do this, together. In fact, I believe we can conquer almost anything.
: You both must remember to be extremely cautious. For my sake!
Gustav: Alundra...Meia. Please save my daughter.
Nothing to lose, I s'pose. Shame about the lack of custom music though in...
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Elene's Nightmare is one of the better dream areas. It's almost definitely the longest and it's arguably the most varied if only by necessity. You can do it without the Fiend Blade if you really want to, but then you're just making things unnecessarily difficult for yourself. I can't even imagine attempting this with 13 HP, the Sword and Cloth Armour... it's certainly possible but I expect it takes absolutely forever.
There's one thing in the scene immediately following this that's kind of... uh, well, it's certainly something.
: Will Elene recover? Or has been...put out of our...or should I say, her...misery?
: Thanks an extremely callous thing for you to say, Beaumont. She is, after all, one of your subjects.
...Since when did a town mayor have subjects exactly? Is there something I'm missing here?
: But no matter. Alundra has managed to save her and return safely. We should rejoice!
Gustav: Oh! Elene...my daughter... has opened her eyes!
The game doesn't make it wholly apparent here, but she no longer suffers from DID either. For the first time since, um, Giles we've actually done something helpful! How long until something else goes horribly wrong, I wonder?
: Thank you, Alundra. I knew when it came down to it, you would make the right choice. The heroic choice.
: Alundra, I've never been more impressed with your ability and your heroism. And Meia...You, too, are to be commended! Fine work!
Gustav: Alundra, I swear to you I'll keep my promise. I will never take another drink as long as I live. My daughter deserves a father who doesn't need a bottle to deal with life's hardships. Here...This isn't much, but I want you to have it.
This thing... the Steel Flail is, by far, my favourite weapon. It's the second most powerful weapon (as far as the plot cares; it's like fourth if you factor in the Legend Sword and something else), it has an awesome charge attack and most of all it's a fucking steel flail.
The one thing here, though, that bugs me is... why does the village drunk have a flail? Why does he NEED a flail? Until today he presumably hasn't left his house in God knows how long. Heck, it's not just that it's a flail that's a problem (he only has the iron one now and that was pretty crappy overall). The problem, is that it's the STRONGEST Flail in-game. I'll probably never not use this, aside from the few times where the best strategy is to spam magic or to use the last plot weapon exactly once.
: You two must be exhausted. Go home and rest. I'll stay here for a while and make sure Elene recovers fully.
When was the last time Alundra slept without something going horribly wrong again? Hmm... a few days at least. Speaking of, time for the plot to interrupt again!
...Great. Just peachy. That said, I DO love Kisha's next line here.
"Insane again." Like he's gone completely batshit before.
: Giles is again trapped in a nightmare. Meia is at his house but refuses to enter his dream. Once again, his life is in your hands. I admire your fortitude but do now know how you manage to bear up. You'd best make your way to Giles' house.
...Can't I refuse too? No? Damn.
: Alundra, I'm terrified by what's happened here. The nightmare returned after you destroyed it!
I'm kinda surprised this is the only time that's happened actually. It seems like the kind of thing that could, and, by all rights, should happen more than once.
: Why does Melzas only attack at night? Why does he use nightmares against innocent villagers?
: Unhh... Please... please help me.
: This is a grave sign! We must move quickly...
Fine. If you decide to be a prick after this Giles, I swear I'll kill you myself.
Time for Meia to do her last useful thing in the entire game; explain the villain's motivations. Maybe.
: Do you think it to be a trap?
: When Melzas uses the nightmares, he terrifies everyone in the village. What do they do when they're afraid? They pray.
: But now that that Alundra has come, that has changed. People aren't afraid of the nightmares because they know he can stop them. And everyone will soon realise that Melzas is causing their evil dreams. When the villagers stop praying to Melzas, his powers fade away into obscurity...
: Then you believe this newest nightmare to be engineered to end either Alundra's life or yours?
: He used them to frighten everyone in the village, to scare them into prayer. Now that we are here, the nighmares have bceome deadly. Not to kill the people of this village... but to kill us!
Kisha: You did it before, Alundra! Trap or no, I have faith you shall prevail once more! You must try...
: What do we do, Alundra? I think we both agree that Meia is right. But, without your help, Giles surely dies... Of course, the one entering Giles' dream is you, not me. The choice is yours. Stay here...or plunge headlong into the nightmare at the very risk of your life?
: We...wait! What was that? Did you hear something?
Um, no. But it's surely going to be better than giant wall of plot.
: I knew it was a trap. I'm certain that Melzas will kill Giles if we enter his nightmare. And, if we were unfortunate enough to be in his dream when Melzas attacks, we'd perish along with him.
Kisha: I refuse to believe this is happening all over again.
There's nothing to worry about. It's just some monkeys.
A whole four of them, even. Yes, this is the entire attack force. Yes, they had the house "surrounded" according to Meia. No, this doesn't make any sense. It makes as much sense as surrounding a plane in mid-flights with some boats.
They're not even any more powerful than they were at the start of the game and they were barely a threat then. Pretty sure it goes without saying, but Fiend Blade + Olga's Ring is a one-hit kill but so is just using any spell and the Wind Scroll will never miss.
You can talk to Meia, but she just tells you to go upstairs and you can skip talking to her and the plot advances anyway.
There's many a tasteless remark that could be made here.
There's still many a tasteless remark that could be made here. Fortunately, the reality is a bit more dignified.
Giles has also become the wolfman. Hmm, this seems oddly familiar only this time it didn't come immediately after that person's dream dungeon. I guess killing the Soul Leech merely slowed down the transformation rather than prevented it... or Melzas' attempted trap caused this to occur. Either one works.
Kisha attempts to reason with Giles, by... calling his god a demon. This has less than ideal results;
Yeah, great. I thought we were done with shitty jokes from the game. Apparently not. There's one even later that's manages to be so hilariously bad it becomes good. Seriously.
: Kill Giles.
He basically says that. In many, many words. As he is want to do.
But, hey, he's not totally a demon apparently! His sprite flickers between human and demon here; I just caught it at this moment.
Giles: Why did this happen? Who did this‽ What? I... killed her? No... I didn't! I couldn't!
Giles: You did this, Alundra! If you hadn't come here, my sister would still be alive!! It wasn't me. I didn't do this! The gods told me...I didn't kill her! I didn't do it!
Giles: The god...Melzas...!
Oh, turns out Kisha isn't dead after all. I guess he just sucks at being able to CHECK FOR A PULSE.
Despite what occured, that fills in the last spot at the Cemetary! Logic would say that this means no one else is going to die. At least Giles died as he lived; insane and devoted to a demon.
But it only made him the most vulnerable to the manipulations of Melzas. Thoughts of anger and revenge fill Alundra's mind as he drifts into sleep. The morning light filters in upon the sleeping saviour all too soon...
Next time: Zazan, ruler of the Great Tree.