Part 47: Lo Pheng and the Titties of the Great AncestressLo Pheng and the Titties of the Great Ancestress
Just a warning, you might not want to read this one at work.
The thread was unanimous and voted Lo Pheng in as our endgame hero.
Let's do this!
So the animations of the trebuchet firing keep playing in the background. It's a nice touch.
: He did not order the attack. The Frisians legions [sic] moved, as if guided by an invisible hand, before the parley party returned. An enormous, copper-plated ram slogged forth. Squads of archers crept ahead, shielding themselves. The infantry moved briskly, holding hastily covered ladders above their heads.
: The trebuchets launched giant stones that sailed over the defenders' faces and crashed thunderously into the walls. The blasts of drums and the wail of Frisian pipes muddled the desperate cries of the attackers and defenders alike. It began.
And with that we get more talking.
The game is going to try to make Amma seem more human here, and I don't think it at all succeeds.
: Where did you come from?
: Same place all the abominations came from...the menhirs, Reapers, Enses and Umbra. Everything that nearly burned Terminum to a crisp. I ran away... and ended up on an Eikon ship in the middle of a storm-a small vessel called the Great Serpent. Only ten families seeking refuge were aboard.
: And they thought you were a goddess?
: Why must we kill Reapers?
: Why did you send a Reaper to attack our island eight hundred years ago?
: Where did the stones in our bodies come from?
: I've been looking for a way to protect you from the Reaping, ever since the first one. Back then, menhirs only had the power to kill. The priests of the new faith doused them in blood-which sometimes produced strixes. However, the priests were oblivious to stones' special properties [sic]. I was the first to pick them up.
: How did they end up in our bodies?
: And all of this will end?
: Everything ends eventually, making room for the new. But it's quite final... for the one who is dead. I don't know how it is with humans, but I feel as if I'm on the brink.
Amma is a divine messenger of the Gods who doesn't know what happens after you die, one of the divine mysteries that pretty much any divinity can answer. It's an interesting characterization of Umbra.
: Are you thinking of leaving again?
I think this is the game trying to make Amma sympathetic. The problem is that she's kind of a fucking monster and turned the Eikons into monsters as well. Is this an actual lament or a psychopath's victimization complex? You decide!
(I lean toward the latter now).
This is Lo Pheng's answer and it's one of the reasons he's better than the other two protagonists. Thorn will start his Dick Dawkins act, Hopper will be angry about the curse, but Lo Pheng calmly accepts whatever bullshit is thrown his way, draws his sword, and prepares to spit in the eye of God.
And Amma cracks under the sorcery of her old master.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Can you tell me about the history of my people that you were there for?
: Yea, I basically turned them into walking weapons to fight the Reaping. The Reapers were going to kill you all otherwise. Anyway, just so you know, I have no compunctions about sacrificing tons of you guys for the greater good - I even invited a Reaper to kill half of you for being too arrogant.
: I see. Will all this Reaper extradimensional crap end?
: Yes. It will probably kill me too. Woe is me! I taught your people, I founded the monastery that trained Andra and Foshta to make Strong Independent Women, but that failed. I tried to live a normal life, but that failed. I used the Eikons like cattle, and that failed. Don't you feel sorry for me?
: So be it. I fight to the last. ...Are you even here any more?
: ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL.
: Aaaah! Run away!
Remember, Lo Pheng and Gleda have never met, so she shows up as "weird kid."
...The women in this game just can't stop looking at Lo Pheng, huh?
This is a reminder that Lo Pheng could probably solo his way through Thorn's whole squad.
: Pardon my manners, but we've not yet been introduced. I've heard you're from Frisia. Tell me, what do the Frisians want? Why do they need this fortress?
: She is not "my" redhead.
Another cool thing about Lo Pheng is that he strenuously objects to the idea that he is the master of anyone. While Thorn demands complete obedience from his followers, Lo Pheng is very assiduous about reminding the girls that they're free now, and they follow him not because they have to but because they want to - same with Dume, Ruor, Alus, and Khama.
: I'm my own mistress, but what you said about the headache is true. So many odd things in here. An odd menhir, an odd Reaping... It seems as if someone has cast spells on the throne room.
In the other two protagonists' paths we have a fight with Brann Vichti after he murders his father. Remember when I said Andra and Foshta had the dumbest ending? They show up in that fight as enemies and get slaughtered. Guess Andra was OK with Brann after all.
: (In a detached manner) I'm a swordsman, not a sorcerer, but magic or no magic, we should keep an eye on the gate. When the fighting begins, you'll forget all about your headache.
: If you wish to know what the Frisians want, you should ask them.
: I doubt that even the Frisians could tell you what brought them here. But that's not stopping them from dying at the walls.
: Oh, I don't doubt it. But do we know if they're being reinforced? Three legions isn't much to pitch against the whole of Berkana.
: Not the best time to chat.
: I don't mind talking...while we still can. The Frisians are all too eager to attack.
: True, their siege ladders are too short, but their soldiers are fearless. They fight like they don't feel any pain nor fear death. It's rumored that sorcery drives them!
: What difference does that make to us? No sorcery pushes us back!
: That's only because the Reaping is powerless in Opacum. For one thing... my head feels like a menhir shard! It's literally ringing with pain.
Thorn, are you really doing this? Reet is saying your daughter has a talent, and you throw it back in her face by boasting about her frankly mediocre sword skills to an Eikon warrior of peace.
Never let it be said that Thorn was a smart man.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Can you explain why you've been staring at me like a weirdo for the last hour?
: Who are you? You're from Frisia, right? Can you give me the lowdown on why the Frisians are here?
: Let me introduce myself. I'm Thorn Brenin, and somehow I know your redhead is suffering the same headache as my daughter here.
: Reet is a strong independent woman who doesn't need no man and I am not her master. It would be pretty cool if she picked me, though.
: Seems like some weird magic bullshit is going down.
: Magic is for NERDS! A real man like me watches the gate!
: In all seriousness, I can't say what the Frisians want.
: They must be driven by WITCHES, who I SUDDENLY DESPISE FOR NO REASON!
: Actually, if your daughter is being hit by the same thing I am, she'd probably be a pretty good witch.
: Don't slander my daughter you crazy woman! She's a super awesome swordsman! She's so good she makes teen boys horny!
: A warrior of peace is polite and does not comment on obviously false statements about sword skills.
We have two more dialogue boxes to get through. Talking to Reet triggers the end game.
: Powerful trebuchets have already dealt considerable damage to Opacum's bastions. Still, the inner castle stands firm. If you retreat behind its walls, you can likely hold out a while longer. The Frisian ram will do poorly in the castle courtyard. When drowning a city in blood, one must avoid also drowning oneself.
: They fight fiercely and stubbornly in their own lands. They have been known to ambush travelers on the highways, but they dare not attack fortresses!
Let's chat with the lovely Reet one more time.
: (In a calm voice) What do you hope to see there? Nearly every warrior will perish at the walls, just as we might.
I think she means to say "attack", the siege is just sitting outside the castle waiting.
: Negotiations are, most likely, over.
: Maybe they weren't real negotiators. The ones dressed as Temple servants looked like sorcerers. Is it possible? The Temple has always persecuted sorcerers.
: If you wish to know who the Temple fights against, you should ask who leads it.
Lo Pheng and Reet were both there when the head of the Temple turned out to be a Reaper.
: Why do you care about those bags?
This is what Lo Pheng saved all the girls from.
: The Triple Menhir is stained with blood as well. The Enses worshiped it... but this menhir is dead.
You know, this brings up an interesting point. Khama is still with us. He's in our party. Literally no one has questioned having a friendly Ense around. This never gets mentioned, ever.
You also can't even get here with Reet if you don't save Khama, so, uh, what the hell, devs?
: Get away from the edge. Do not tempt the enemy archers.
: (Looking at the menhir) Wait...I think I sense something...
: (Musingly) Magic, Reet. The magic of Opacum is blending with the magic of the Reaping. Fire and steel coming together, and in this frying pan, blood is the oil. We just need to learn what the dish is.
: (Turning around) A messenger is on the way. I would not be surprised if we are summoned-the Frisians began the siege too quickly!
: Let's go! I'll help the commander!
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: None of this makes sense! Why are they attacking when their negotiators are still here? Why did they bring bags of blood from the dead prisoners? What are they planning?
: Only way to find out is to see what happens. Get down, I don't want you getting shot.
: Come quick! Brann finally shot his father to repay him for his crappy parenting skills, and we apparently need more healers!
: This is my route, so I smell a boss fight. Let's all go.
: The cacophony from outside makes the woman shudder. "No need for a healer, Eikon. My name is Philia. Stakhet Vichti is dead. If this was a random arrow, its precision was most unfortunate. The count's son still lurks about-a vile man, by all accounts. The guards are searching, but finding him will take time."
BRANN IS BAD BRANN IS BAD.
Ha ha, nice. Someone recognizes Hopper on sight. Go Reet.
: Have a closer look at the stranger.
: The man glances warily at the windows. "My name is Hopper. I'm no hero, and I don't see any arrows stuck in me. That battle was ages ago... Do you think its veterans still wander the roads of Terminum? I'm only a humble... scribe, one who failed to save the commander. Are you feeling all right? Your brow is burning."
Considering that half the veterans are the Reapers right outside...yes I do, "Hopper".
: Reet touches her forehead with a wince. "Yes, I'm a bit under the weather. Probably just a cold."
: Before Reet can reply, Mushom barges in clearly upset. "Bad news! The menhir collapsed! I'll rush to our ruler-you shouldn't linger here either. Every blade counts!" With that, he runs off.
: Hopper steps back. Beads of sweat have formed on his brow. He is fighting something invisible, something trying to nail him to the throne room floor. "Gods almighty..." he says, struggling. "How can this be, Amma? How can this be? She's enchanted...and also weaves an enchantment herself. She's summoning someone. Careful!"
We, uh, did tell people Khama was a good Ense and not to shoot him, right?
That's not good. Why in God's name did we need to see her nipples?
At first I was going to write this off as "stupid bullshit", but it works perfectly for Lo Pheng. Metaphorically, this stands for realizing the clan's brutal teachings are monstrous and by literally fighting the Great Ancestress Lo Pheng is also fighting her teachings.
So Amma here has lost her shirt (Calz was big on free the nipple, apparently) but gained some abilities.
An astute observer will notice that none of these abilities come close to dealing 42 damage, and thus Lo Pheng can no-sell all her attacks.
Out goes the Phengster.
This idiot doesn't understand the whole "Cloud Tower" thing and gets mutilated for his stupidity.
Swarty lines up a shot against Amma's triple-digit HP. I have a plan to trivialize this fight, because Amma doesn't really do anything interesting and it's not her fault.
I fail to catch the Warlock using Pillar of Ash on poor Swarty (I'd thought he would go after Lo Pheng) but I do catch Reet executing his worthless ass. We need to get to turn two.
Always the gentleman, Khama retaliates against this Ense who hit him to get him off Swarty's back.
This does nothing to stop Amma from moving in and beating the crap out of poor Swarty, which would make me upset if I didn't know about the big Fuck You gimmick of this fight.
Remember this thing? I've basically only pulled it out for Reaper fights. It works on Amma here (and even works on the final boss) so we can cheese the ever loving crap out of this fight by not dealing with her hundred plus HP and just killing her in one turn.
Shannet goes and kills Amma with her bloodletting attack.
Yea, welcome to the Fuck You gimmick of this fight. As soon as you kill Amma, she lets out a scream that instantly KO's every fighter on the battlefield. Yes, this does mean the entire active party gets a free injury. Fuck you for playing!
Hopper throws the knife at Amma and she dies. Prophecy fulfilled!
Confirming that yes, you do eat an injury from dealing with this. Good job, devs!
And with that Lo Pheng overcomes whatever has held his humanity back.
: You barely come to your senses when Philia rushes to Hopper. "You cherished her, didn't you? Do you remember the hint? Do you? Take a look! Hurry while she still has not yet turned to ashes!"
The last riddle.
: Philia repeats the scribe's words and bobs her head. "I don't get it. Something's missing. There was something else. Something about everything becoming clear in the end. Maybe it's not yet time?"
...I can't even blame Lo Pheng for that reaction because I, too, tire of their cryptic bullshit.
: Point at Hopper.
: Hopper struggles to speak, as if bleeding from an invisible wound. "She was made into a Reaper. By those who tried to take Opacum. I had a weapon that could kill a Reaper. And so Amma is no more. She knew it. She foresaw everything..."
: You never take your eyes off Hopper. "By 'they' you mean the ones who orchestrated the Reaping? And what did you kill her with? I saw you holding some kind of...dagger."
: Hopper nods. "Yes, they are the ones responsible for the Reaping. And yes, that was a knife. A special stone knife. The only one I had and it crumbled to pieces the moment it struck Amma,"
: Glance at Reet.
: Reet barely manages to keep herself straight, her eyes glued to Hopper.
: (Panting) We can't hold out much longer. He means to take one of the women, and he may have already chosen one. The menhir has been destroyed. As soon as three Umbra are killed, he'll be incarnated.
: Who is her mother?
It's not clear but this is Hopper replying.
: Where is she?
: (Wearily) I know not, but I'm certain of one thing-she didn't crawl into a hole to hide. She's where she is supposed to be.
: What did she say?
: What should we do, Philia?
: (With a doomed look) I asked her how to find out who'd been cursed. She told me the blood would reveal it. Remove your amulets and give your blood. A few drops will suffice. That's all. Then she left.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: We're fucked, aren't we?
: Yup. My mother told me everything. Once the last Umbra is dead, the god will rise. He's gonna pick one of us to be his vessel, and devastate the world.
: Is your mom gonna do anything to help us?
: She's doing cryptic magic shit. She did tell me how to figure out who the god would possess. Everyone make like an Evanescence concert and cut yourself.
: The party does. A triangular mark appears on Reet's forehead
: Well, fuck.
: Illuminati confirmed.
: (Gloomily) You can't do anything. You cannot stop an avalanche, can you?
: Look it in the eye, at least.
: The question remains...what should we do?
That's Hopper speaking.
: We must not act rashly.
If Thorn's party has low morale, they will attack Reet and Lo Pheng will be forced to kill them.
: (Angrily) The mark on my forehead means nothing! Nothing! I won't back down from gods nor Reapers-and certainly not from any of you!
Before we go any further, I'm going to show off the bad ending we didn't get but 99% of people who played this game did. This is not the LP save, this is an old save I had of a practice run.
The Road Not Taken posted:
: "He who can take action must act and pay for his action," you calmly say to the others. "However, her blood is on all of you. Think about it when the time for repentance comes. I'm leaving now, and no one may follow me."
So, yes. If you don't get Lo Pheng's morale up - basically his humanity score - he murders the woman he loves and then walks into the battle to die. The god picks either Gleda or Philia depending on who's alive and you have to play as Thorn or Hopper at the endgame.
This is the Lo Pheng ending 99% of players will see. Don't believe me?
The devs themselves cannot tell you how to get Lo Pheng's good ending.
It seems to be based on morale, which is why I made such a big deal of the path of mercy. Take it. Now, for the real ending:
He can't do it. Thanks in no small part to your wise choices, goons, Lo Pheng is going to face the end as a man, and not a monster.
Thorn gives us the Reaper killing knife. It's time to shank a bitch.
For someone who got his ass beat twice, Nakoma sure thinks he's hot shit.
Now we have the knife and can finally kill this little punk.
: Something weighs Hopper down. He can barely keep upright, but when he speaks, his voice is clear and fearless. "You all plotted this entire scheme in advance, didn't you, Atraakh? Who else is with you? All of them? Dorpkhal, Adna, Tibibar, Childao? Did you entice Coronzon? His guardians, too?"
: Nakoma laughs. "You don't need to know, this, Blance. The deed is done, so why don't we have some fun? Eikon! Do we not have a score to settle? Can you still swing a sword?"
This is the final battle.
Decisions lie before us!
This is the game's final boss, and we are going to beat this little bitch like he owes us money.. To that end, I need your help, goons. I will be force-deploying Lo Pheng, but I need you to vote for up to five professional ass-whoopers to beat the ever loving shit out of Atraakh.
This means, that yes, if you want to see what unholy terrors Lo Pheng can unleash with buffed attack we can send Ramlin along. Or the Lo Pheng/Thorn AoE extravaganza. Choose wisely, goons!
(Yea, I fucked up and we don't get Hode. We have Shannet, she does the same thing while being much cuter. Deal with it.)