Part 110: Update CVI: An Apprentice and the King of HeroesAs always, there is so much to be done, we haven't got time to spare. We resume just after the end of last update...
H-Hi there. You seem really busy, Mr. Sterk. You don't have to come by so often...
Thank you for your concern. But please don't worry about me. So, what do you have planned for today?
Umm...I'm actually not planning on going anywhere. So you don't have to -
No, you never know what may happen. I'll remain here to protect you, as always.
There's really no danger to protect against. Everything's looking very peaceful.
A-Assassin...? Do you really think anyone cares that much about a princess from some backwoods kingdom?
We have no way of knowing, which is why I'm here. Better safe than sorry. Now then, I'll go make my rounds.
If he's right, shouldn't he be guarding Dad instead? ...Oh well, I need to get to work.
*fade to black*
Umm, Mr. Sterk...I'd really appreciate it if you could just relax a little.
No, I cannot let my guard down while protecting you. Please, don't worry about me. Just focus on your own work.
I-I can't concentrate with him glaring at me like that! But how can I tell him...? Oh, I know! I'm really sorry, but could you go be on guard from the other side of the window? I'll yell if anything happens.
...Understood. I have no desire to get in your way, so I'll stand guard outside.
Whew...now I should be able to concentrate. I wonder if Mr. Sterk is always like that... I don't think I've ever seen him smile. Just like Rufus, actually... I mean, I don't doubt he's a really nice person...
*fade to black*
I-It's not working! His aura is creeping in from outside...eurgh, now what do I do!? He's gonna scare off all my customers before they even get close! What to do, what to do...? I feel like I have to talk to someone about it.
Well, you can probably guess who, but we're not going to worry about that for the time being. We have other business with Sterk at the moment. Video goes until Meruru says "Here we gooo!"
M...Master? Me? Princess, I have no idea what you're talking about.
I need to get stronger so I can stand up those lizards when they attack. So can you teach me how to fight? I really want Mr. Sterk to be my master!
I see... So your odd behavior is due to your concern for the kingdom. But still, being called "Master" is kind of -
Odd behavior!? That's not very nice, Master! I'm being serious here!
But I'm very strict. There's no holding back, even for a princess. Are you sure you're prepared for this?
Of course! I'm gonna do my very best, Master!
Guh. I'll never get used to that. But if that's what the princess prefers... Anyway, attack whenever you're ready!
O-Okay! Man, I'm really pumped! Here we gooo!
So yeah, just prepare yourself for battle against Sterk and talk to him again to begin this next scene. You can probably guess when this next video will end, but video goes until the screenshot of Sterk on the ground.
Yes, Master! I'll do my best!
Then let's start by creating a proper atmosphere... Now! Quit lazing about and get outside! Let's go!
Y-Yes, sir! Jeez, Mr. Sterk turned scary fast!
*fade to black*
I've developed the perfect training routine for you. If all goes well, you'll get stronger in a flash.
Oh, that sounds great! So, what kind of training is it? And what happens if all doesn't go well?
No worries. Failure simply means broken bones, suffering, and eternal shame. No big deal, right?
I see, I see...wait, what!? Is it really that dangerous!? I thought Master was gonna look out for me!
Oh, well when you put it that way...no no NO! I'm supposed to fight you? And you expect me to win!? WHAT!?
We'll just repeat the training until you best me. Once you can do that, you will have gained the strength you desire. All right, here we go!
There's really nothing to this fight. Even with her equipment, Meruru is still weaker than Gino, but she can use items, which more than tips the scales in our favor. Of course, I just end up whacking Sterk over and over again, as I need no assistance.
For whatever reason, AI Sterk seems to have a move normal Sterk doesn't. Curious.
Over three games, you're 0-3 against me, Sterk. Shameful. Video goes until Masked G says "I'll just have to wait and see."
Gh -! Well done...you brought me to my knees. You have now passed your training.
Woohoo! I beat Mr. Sterk! I still can't believe it, though...does this really mean I'm stronger now?
Of course. I didn't think you'd prove it so decisively. Your fighting skill is now on the same level as my own.
Haha, I knew it! I'm super amazing! "The Invincible Princess" - it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
I bet I could even take down a dragon or something! Those lizards had better watch out!
Hey, um, Princess? Did you hear what I just said? Can you hold on for a second?
Hey! You're...my true master!
Wh-What did you say?
Now that I'm as tough as Mr. Sterk, my next goal is...you! I'm gonna jump all the way up to your level!
That's not true! I'm gonna become the strongest princess ever and protect all of Arls from evil!
It's no use talking to her...what a troublesome princess. But you're partly to blame here, too.
I-I'm very sorry. I just wanted to give her a little extra confidence, but it seems to have backfired.
She's so direct...I hope she doesn't go off in the wrong direction. I'll just have to wait and see.
I fear Masked G has a point here, but we've still got the lizards to deal with. Just go talk to Rufus to continue this sidequest. Video goes until the screenshot of Meruru thinking to herself.
There hasn't been any severe damage, but they are moving toward our kingdom's borders.
Isn't that, like, a pretty big problem? We have to do something.
I'm well aware. But my intention was to maintain the current situation, and what you see now is the result of that. Reports indicate the lizards have grown restless, itching for invasion, and the Lizard Chief has shown himself.
Ohhh...you're so smart, Rufus! Always planning ahead like that. So if we can do something about their leader...
Without him to keep order, they'll lose the will to fight, and return home. Thus, avoiding any unnecessary combat.
Yeah, makes sense! Then I'll head out right away and -
Nng...but everything'll be fine if I defeat their boss, right? So that's what I have to do now.
I am currently organizing a task force in cooperation with Arland adventurers. They will depart as soon as possible. You, Princess, must assist in the reinforcement of the outpost. The details of the plan are as follows...
Ugh...more? We all know where this is going, I hope. I see no reason why we can't just march in there and take him out and settle this whole mess. Regardless...it must be done.
Okay, so if we do this, the lizards won't be able to come any closer! I'll do my best, but...
I'm sure the Princess would not dream of putting her own life in danger for the needless pursuit of glory. Correct?
Uhhh, of course not! Heh...I'll just, uh, take care of this duty for now!
I appreciate it, Princess.
Unfortunately, before then, very pointless duty calls. Regardless, I used this visit to buy the structure A Stronger Wall, which, while it doesn't show up on the world map when it is constructed, it does make Popularity go down slower. Combined with the Goddess Statue, that means my Popularity basically *doesn't* go down.
Anyway, a scene after I canceled out of Rufus' menu. Video goes until Meruru says "I think I really hurt Mr. Sterk's feelings."
Lord Dessier wanted to speak to you. It's been a while - perhaps you should go see him.
Oh, he did? Okay.
Are you headed to the throne room? Allow me to accompany you.
You stay, Mr. Sterk. I have business with you.
There are plenty of soldiers there around Dad, so I won't be in any danger.
I see...then I'll meet up with you afterward.
I'll stop by again before I go back.
Let me get straight to the point. Please stop hovering over the princess. Your protection is excessive.
It is not excessive! You never know where the enemies of the royal family may be lurking.
There are no enemies of the royal family in our kingdom. I personally verify the identity of everyone who enters Arls. I make a point not to allow entry to any suspicious persons. There is nothing to worry about.
Assassins are specifically trained to slide right through ID checks like that.
It seems you're still not getting it. Then let me be blunt.
You know how kind the princess it. She may not have spoken to you directly, but she did come to me about this.
Th-That can't be... I'm only doing this for her sake.
I understand that. I know that when the princess leaves town, it's your vigilance that keeps her safe. But you must realize that your constant surveillance is getting in her way. If you love her, you must set her free. That's all. I would ask that you consider this conversation carefully.
*fade to black*
What kind of question is that? I've never thought for a second you were holding me back.
Mr. Rufus just spoke with me at the castle. Did you not go and talk to him about me?
That was... I'm sorry, I really didn't mean it like that. It's just that...I was hoping you could change how you do things, just a little bit.
I suppose the way of chivalry has gone out of style...
That's not true! I really do depend on you, Mr. Sterk!
But...please still allow me to assist you when you want to head outside of town. If anything were to happen to you out there, I would never be able to face Lord Dessier, or Mr. Rufus.
Of course! I'm serious, Mr. Sterk, I really need your help. So...so please don't look so sad.
Thank you, Princess. I'll be going for today. If you need anything, please come find me.
Oh nooo...I think I really hurt Mr. Sterk's feelings.
Meruru is just all over the place this update. Don't worry, her mood will swing right back to cocksure soon enough.
I really can't stress how pointless Architect is as a task. Like I said, you have to make 60 weapons / armor over the course of the game. Thing is, there is absolutely no reason to do so. Once you've got the best traits on Regentium / Medical Linen weapons / armor, there's no reason to make more. I'd say, in the course of an average playthrough, you'd be hard-pressed to hit 30 different weapons and armor.
If you really want to grind this out, my advice is to reserve one slot at Pamela's for ingredients, for example, the Scale Cloth. When Pamela restocks on the 1st, 11th, or 21st of every month, buy 10 of the material you registered, and use them to make 5 new bits of armor or weapons, as necessary. With all those dummy weapons / armor, you could always sell them to recoup some of the losses. Repeat as needed to get to the all-important 60, and give thanks to whatever powers you believe in you don't have to make any more.
Speaking of pointless, this second hidden Hart task. Lizard Response 1 is for Ultimate Steel at A-rank, two you can see right there, and three is for 2 Magic Stones at A-rank. There's really no special trick to getting all these fulfilled. Just get all your materials in order and make each request one at a time. For me, it took the better part of April to fulfill everything.
And now, the final resident of the Corridor speaks to us. I feel kinda bad for her. All her buddies are dead, and she knows she's next. Still, at least we'll be meeting her on the field of battle as equals, without any pretention on either side. Don't worry, if you're looking for eternal rest, you've come to the right place.
When I went to the Study to get this deciphered, this next scene appeared. Video goes until the screenshot of Meruru's line against a black background.
Oh, Meruru. He and Mr. Sterk just stepped out.
Him and Mr. Sterk!? Oh jeez, I'd better go find them!
*fade to black*
Why did you invite me to the tavern out of the blue? I haven't been bothering Princess Meruru -
I brought you here to show you my appreciation.
As you know, because of my position, I tend to be very strict with the princess. Of course, it's only because I want her to grow up strong...
Mr. Rufus -
But now is not the time for that. I want her to be free of restrictions and have the chance to cultivate her talents. Soon enough, when the princess stands to represent this land to the outside world - that's when I'll need your help. Until then, I only ask that you give me time to do things my way.
...I had no idea you'd thought so extensively about Princess Meruru. I'm ashamed of my behavior... I was so caught up in acting like a knight, I failed to notice your true intentions. I have much to learn. I realize that now. From today forward, I will approach Princess Meruru merely as an escort on her varied adventures.
Thank you. Please continue to protect the princess in the ways that I cannot.
I dunno, Rufus. We saw your performance against the Hell Maiden.
But I've lived my whole life as a knight. And I'm not the kind of old dog that can learn new tricks.
I understand how you feel. Personally, I feel that a knight like you carries a truly remarkable presence. Although time may pass, the people do not change. Nor does the spirit that dwells within them...!
Ahh, you really do understand. Your ability to comprehend the truth astounds me.
Wh-Why are they drinking together? When did they get all buddy-buddy?
Oooh, Princess Meruru! ...And there are two of you!
Two -? You're drunk, aren't you, Mr. Sterk?
No, no, he's right. I see two of you, too. Which makes a total of four.
I'm seeing double! Four Merurus?
Uwah! Rufus, are you drunk, too?
Umm...you two should probably stop drinking now.
I won't be felled by such a paltry alcoholic enemy! For I...am a proud knight!
It has nothing to do with being a knight! We just need to get you home.
I, Skeletonburg, shall use my sword to protect you forever, Princess!
What did you -? You just totally messed up your own name!
It seems he's quite intoxicated. He's been drinking at a furious pace.
He's not the only one. You seem pretty gone yourself, Rufus.
That's what everyone says when they're drunk. Let's just get out of here!
No, let's stay in here. Let's enjoy this, just for tonight. We must all cut loose sometimes. Even I... Every day I must try to soothe my nerves after dealing with our princess' absurd, emotional, instinctual actions.
Wh-Why'd this become about me all of a sudden!?
And Lias distances himself from me more and more every day. It's the sad reality of an older brother...
Wait, you were just complaining about me, and now you're already on to Lias?
Listen - developing a kingdom means gathering all given information, and always being three steps ahead.
And now I'm getting lectured? I can't deal with this!
That scene seemed to drag on longer than it should...anyhow, we're down to Lias in terms of ending flag events.
In-between getting all the weapons I can reasonably develop done, I got a few Hagel scenes. Not much worth recapping, but I've always liked the scene for the Rivale Lanze.
Rivals? Umm...I have lots of friends. But no rivals that I can think of.
I see...this weapon's name is Rivale Lanze. It means "rival's spear", so I was hoping your rival could use it.
Why did you give it a name like that...?
Come on. Doesn't anyone come to mind? Someone that would make the perfect rival.
Rival...rival...Keina's not like that for sure. Maybe Miss Totori? ...No, never. She'd never do that!
Ms. Mimi? But...whose rival is she?
Totori's, of course! She always has the intensity of a proper rival. And she's been running up against Totori for forever!
No no, I'm sure of it. At the start, she'll confront Totori with it and charge straight at her.
Wait, no, that's not -
Eventually, they'll recognize each other's ability. Like, "You're pretty good", and, "Yeah, you too". In the end, they team up to take on a powerful enemy together! But what awaits them after that...is tragedy. Totori's cornered! The aristocrat girl jumps in front of her and says..."I'm the only one that's allowed to beat her! I won't let you take that way from me!" To the enemy, she says this.
Wait, why does Ms. Mimi have to die!? Don't say stuff like that!
Huh? What, you don't know? That's a pretty standard plot device. It's a real tear-jerker ending, right?
I don't care what it is! Anyway, this spear is somehow elegant and refined. I feel like it's perfect for Ms. Mimi!
Elegant? That girl? Young miss, you are deceived.
I don't think so. But her eyes do get pretty crazy when she's fighting... Still, she's from a highly regarded aristocratic family. I adore her in a totally different way from Miss Totori!
Well...okay, then. If that's how you feel, I won't say anything to crush your fantasies. Anyway, please tell her I'll be holding onto it until she comes to claim it.
Gosh...I don't think Mr. Hagel has any idea what he's talking about.
Very shortly, we'll be on our way to the final Goddess battle for now. We're bringing along Totori and Gio, a very solid team that I used the first time I slew the Eternity Goddess. Gio because he hasn't seen battle in a bit and he's recruitable at Hart Outpost, where we have to stop by.
But before then, we've got a DLC scene. I have no idea what I did to make this trigger.
*fade to black*
R-Rorona!? What are you doing here? Did you...?
I came here to approval! See? I made my own stamp! You goed out and talked to everyone, right? So now I can approval! Right!?
Rorona...you really like doing this, huh? What are you going to do, Rufus?
Don't worry. Taking previous experiences into account, I've prepared some approval documents just for Ms. Rorona.
Wh-When did you even...? You really are prepared for anything.
Yaaay! Approval! Approval!
There, now we have some peace and quiet. So, what did our princess want to talk about?
Oh yeah, I was just curious if you'd finished all your inspections.
Yes, it was a most successful trip. Although Lord Dessier did bring up one other thing just now. He was so satisfied with the results that he has ordered me to organize further site inspections.
So does that mean you'll be going around here and there from now on? That sounds like a lot of work...
I actually found that the inspections are a nice change of pace for me. So you don't have to worry about that. So whenever is convenient for you, I'm free to head to whichever site you want from now on. Don't hesitate to ask.
That's great, but...Mr. Sterk and everyone are here, too. So please don't push yourself too hard. (Besides, with Rufus constantly by my side, I'd never be able to cut loose... It's like constant supervision.)
I-I didn't say it was!
Then it's settled. I shall accompany you from now on.
Whoa! You're done already? But that was a huge pile of papers!
So even that wasn't enough. This was...unexpected.
Well...I didn't approval some of them. Like this one...and this one...and these ones...
Oh...you didn't stamp these. Why did you not "approval" them?
Why? Umm...I dunno. I just felt like I shouldn't.
Is there really no reason for it? No...th-these are...and these ones...
Rufus? What's wrong?
Oooh. Are you that surprised you made a few mistakes? You were busy with your own inspections. It's not your fault.
A butler must execute his duties to perfection no matter the situation...! Gh...errg...I checked...so many times...
Maybe we should just leave him alone. You wanna go now, Rorona?
Yeah! Let's go have some snacks!
Nice try, Rufus, but you won't be along for too many more adventures with me. Anyhow, we should get moving.
Whew, that's all for Hart for real. Now, although Meruru doesn't mention it at all outside the MeMemo, what you're supposed to do next is go to Modis Ruins and fight the Lizard Chief. Now, you might be wondering why that's a problem, since Modis is on the way to the Corridor anyway.
Weellll...turns out I forgot that part. I end up wasting a trip simply because I didn't know better. Bad game. Anyway, this second secret Hart quest gets us this...
Well, it's a nice-looking battlement. Still doesn't make up for the time I used making it. Talking with Gio gets us this nice little scene.
I just had something I wanted to ask you, Uncle...
Is that so? What could it be? I certainly hope I can help.
What would Aunt Sofra think about Arls disappearing as an independent kingdom? You think she'd be sad...?
Oh no, not at all. She wished for the growth of Arls more than anyone. Besides, Arls isn't going to disappear. All the work you've done will still be here, and so will the people. The kingdom will continue to develop peacefully and joyfully. And Sofra will watch over the entire process. I stood by her side throughout countless adventures, so I can say that without hesitation.
Always stood by her...? So did you...I mean...
I see.. So, what are you going to do once we've merged?
Oh, I plan on staying in Arls for a while. I'm sure problems will crop up even after the merger. There will still be situations where I may be of help, for a period at least.
Very true. Hehe...I'm counting on you, Uncle!
That's all well and good, but we should be moving out for real this time. As always, nothing of interest before the second to last screen of the Corridor.
I was actually impressed by the Death Wing's performance, so I ended up making a video of it. Mostly for the ending, though.
And there we are. He has a really ominous sounding attack, something like "Death" something, that is incredibly weak, actually. I'm not sure what happened there. Anyway, believe it or not, this is our second-to-last dragon foe of the entire game. We're really reaching the end now.
Music: Totori FJ: Chim Callout
Not the most elaborate, but definitely the most anime. Bonus points if you remember that song from Totori, which I most certainly do. Anyway, time for the main event.
In the Darkness and the Light - Eternity Goddess
Whoo boy, the Eternity Goddess. I hope you've prepared well, because arguably the hardest non-DLC boss fight in the game is headed your way. The Eternity Goddess is leagues stronger than any of her predecessors, and gets a massive three turns in a row.
Well, she starts off with the regulars. Convicted Goddess Wheel, Judgment, and Spirit's Grief, which is a new one. This rather obnoxious attack is far from her worst, but she's going to bring the pain real soon. Totori didn't have a great first turn, but part of me wonders why Totori is so blazing fast compared to everyone else on the field.
It should be noted that Judgment is a bit of a special status effect, in that it can't be removed by Cure-All or Ailment Recovery. Only death and revival can remove it, but Eternity will use it any number of times over the course of the fight.
If we can play the status effect game against our enemies (not against Eternity Goddess, though. She ignores any and all status effects, unless it's Soul or Strength Steal from the Pendelook or the Black Runestone, respectively), she can too. It's a very good idea to get rid of Blind, especially, as that'll make you whiff attacks constantly.
Should be noted, though, special attacks have absolute hit accuracy. They'll never miss, I don't think.
I think we need to put a few more cards in our favor. Time Advancing also makes her turns come up more frequently, but against her, everyone on our team going sooner is undoubtedly an advantage.
Look at that. Even has the classic name.
Should be noted either Meruru, Totori, or Rorona can use items, and Living applies to all of them. Doesn't matter which one uses it, but for team attacks, Meruru needs to be the initiator.
These guys are a bit of a special case. They won't attack you directly. Instead, they're glorified time bombs. When their turn comes up, they'll vomit up some potent toxic breath and then disappear. The sun card underneath the demon's card will summon a second one. For these guys, I'd advise powerful Meteors or Peacemakers. Don't use special attacks against them, as you'll be wasting a lot of damage.
She's not sitting pretty, but we're not out the woods yet.
It's important to prioritize. We want to make absolutely sure the demon doesn't survive, so make the team attacks hit him, and the Goddess just will suffer some splash damage. It's better than doing the opposite and letting the demon survive with just a little HP.
While the non-finishing blow Chim Callout isn't that flashy, it's still plenty potent, and for whatever reason, a non-elemental attack.
Now she's getting serious. Nativity calls in another Eternity. Don't worry, it's not techincally another enemy. It'll just do one of the Goddess' attacks and shuffle out. Still, it can get pretty messy. Look at that turn order.
I didn't notice it while playing, but what Totori's throwing is actually an attack item from her game. It's a nice touch.
Bow before this sacred blade, and know suffering.
You had no chance. This blade is to slash at the heart of all evil. And even now, it is not sated. There is so much more work to be done.
A crushing victory, I think.
Now then, after wasting a lot of time, I'm right where I need to be. It should be noted I've heard this event doesn't show up if you have Sterk in the party, but I've never verified this myself. Fair warning. Video goes until the screenshot of Masked G looking at Meruru.
That must be the Lizard Chief! I found him! If I can just take him down... Okay!
Ahh, Meruru! Hold on, it's too dangerous!
I'll be fine on my own. I'm just gonna go defeat the boss!
There's nothing to this fight. There is absolutely no reason you should lose at this point in the game. If you watch the video, you can definitely see I'm not taking this seriously, even if this is a 1-1 fight.
Woooo! I won! Heh, that wasn't as hard as I expected. I'll take on those lizards any day of the week! I guess I'm the world's most powerful princess. You better run, before I catch ya! Hahahaha!
So that's the end...or is it? Of course not, but we can't do much until later. Anyway, you get a short scene with Hanna upon returning to Arls, but like I said, there's not much you can do about this sidequest. You can proceed when you get a scene with Totori about getting a letter. It'll happen about a week after beating the Chief.
Oh, thanks! Now who could it be from...? Let's take a look!
Could this be...a challenge!? This means Masked G recognizes my amazing strength, right? If I can beat him, I won't just be the strongest fighter in Arls, but in all of Arland, too. I'm so excited!
Now then...there's two endings that branch off from this, Strong Meruru A and B. Strong Meruru A is from losing to Masked G, and B is obviously from winning. It certainly doesn't take any talent to lose to Masked G, so for the sake of this main playthrough, we'll go ahead with letting Meruru win. I'll post the "Losing" scene when I do the update for Strong Meruru A. Let's head to Hart, but before then, prepare very well if you want to win...
So you've come, Princess of Arls. I give you credit for your bravery. However, you've lost sight of yourself.
Can you please tell me what this is all about, Master? Are you just worried I'm gonna surpass you soon?
You've become a big arrogant fish in a tiny little pond. I'm here to open your eyes to reality.
There's no need. The reality is, I AM strong. I even took down the Lizard Chief!
Y-You have no right to call me a little girl! Are you so hungry to taste my strength for yourself!?
That's exactly what I had in mind. Hmm...how long has it been since I last fought an actual person?
Here I come, King of Heroes - tell me, do you have enough turns in stock? - Masked G
Whoo boy, Masked G. I'd say the hardest fight in the game outside of Makina. G doesn't actually have *that* much HP, but attacking him is like pulling teeth. He has absolutely enormous defense, and non-elemental attacks will do *very* little to him.
He also moves three times in a row, recovers 33 HP a turn from simply taking one, and Justice Slash gives him back another 30 or so. This can be a very long fight if he decides to spam that.
He also has the same super attack he used against Gino quite a few updates ago. This attack is enormously powerful, even against a guarding character, and will almost certainly KO the target.
I think a final sword blitz will take him out. What say you, Sterk?
There is no answer to the heart of battle. There is only power.
Sterk concept art
More Sterk concept art
Totori FJ: Chim Callout
This should sound familiar to fans of Atelier Totori. I've arranged the boss battle BGM, "GO GO TOTORI"