Part 60: The Real Deal: Part 5: We forgot you're a criminalTHE REAL DEAL: PART 5
The insects are out of control!
The bugs are headed towards the town! That can't be good!
Don't worry, Rempo. They'll never actually arrive and this development will be entirely forgotten about. In the "This is bad for Rhoan" sense, at least. Less so the "Herald of the apocalypse" sense.
what did I just say you fucking DITZ
goddamn ditzy-ass fairy with your fucking legs tripping over shit
You're right. Going back now wouldn't do us any good.
There, where to now? (sic)
Maybe it wouldn't hurt if we checked on how it's doing. I'd like to see the town for once.
Keh. Fine then.
All right! We're off to town!
Conversation basically plays out the same if you choose Yes. Surprise surprise.
Couple of things I should mention here. Now that we have more than one spirit, we can choose which one pops out when we open the book.
However, all they do is say "This is the table of contents, this is the chapter on weapons, this is the bleedin' obvious." So it just comes down to whose voice clips you're least sick of listening to.
Also, that question mark. What's it for?
It lets you ask the spirits for advice. Or, to put it another way, it has the spirits remind you what to do to advance the plot.
Would have been nice to have the option to just talk to them, you know, build rapport, develop character, but again, mute protagonist.
The town's in real big trouble! First earthquakes and now swarms of insects! But the worst thing of all...is the war.
Yeah, the Waisen Empire attacked the Northern Fortress. And the one leading them is Prince Valdo himself! I'd heard that an assassin took his life, but it turns out he's alive!
That might have been a cool reveal later, but no, apparently you'd rather let us know in advance.
I want you to hit me as hard as you can. Also, I am you.
A-anyway! Rhoan's now preparing for battle. Maybe I should also join the war. I want to help my country. If I go out there, maybe then they'll see me as a hero...
He doesn't seem very confident.
My dad told me the other day...you learned his Special Move! Talk about impressive! Dad's the master of a special school. But he never even gives me a chance.
No kidding. This guy's old man Gustav's son?!
There are four great schools of fighting in this world. They fight each other to see which is the best style. Everyone admires them greatly! Northern Hammer, Eastern Sword, Western Bomb and Southern Flight. See you later, then.
How do you know? Yeah, he had a hammer. That doesn't mean he's head of the school.
You've already got those two down!
How wonderful! Maybe the book really is guiding you! Let's keep going and get the last two schools!
Yes, I'm sure we'll meet him again. But don't forget the book's message, Yumil! Take a look at the book! This war must be connected to Ice Spirit Neaki's freedom! We'd better get to the battlefield, Yumil!
What message? The chapter opening? You mean Yumil actually sees those?
You know, I'd be okay with that. The book does give us visions of the future, so I can buy that the narration is being conveyed in-character somehow. Still, it didn't mention anything about a war. Where's that connection coming from? And if these messages aren't just for the player's sake, how about establishing it the first time it happens? And why is this the only time we make use of it?
Maybe this isn't what Rempo meant, but I don't know what else it could be, aside from "a mistake." The book hasn't given us any other messages.
Well, no matter. Did you see how the town's changed? It's "war, war, war" everywhere you turn! I'm gonna do it! This'll be my chance! War's the best way for peasants to make a name for themselves!
Hmph. It's not my fault if he gets burned.
Look, Yumil, you don't have to come. You're just...not tough enough. Well, see ya 'round!
I think he's worried about you.
I'm not thrilled to join the war...but it's the fastest way we can get on the battlefield. Yumil, we're gonna go there with you! The castle's probably recruiting.
You peasants must have it tough!
A war?! I can't believe it! But it's still a chance to make some money!
And why's that, dear brother?
Because you always need provisions! Good thing we've stocked up for a time like this!
Oh, brother, you're incredible!
I don't know if Francesca's asking an honest question and being impressed by the answer, or this is just self-congratulatory "Ho ho, we're so smart and rich" posturing. Her bio says she looks up to Romaioni and doesn't really know what she's doing, so I'm guessing the former. Even though the latter would fit better.
Anyway, that's the end of that. There's no dialogue to introduce the gambling minigame or the shop. They're just options you get when you talk to Francesca or Romaioni, respectively. Let's move on.
Hello, Yumil. Thanks for coming to visit. What will we talk about today?
Nothing. Like we always do.
A letter has arrived for you!
Oh my. A letter? Isn't my grandmother home?
Is anybody home? I have a letter!
Grandma must be out. Yumil, could you do me a favour and go downstairs to get the letter for me?
How do you spin "Could you get that for me?" into this many words? I don't know, this one conversation really sticks out to me, and it highlights a problem endemic to the game. It'll harp on and on when it doesn't need to, but when something big comes up, suddenly it has nothing to say. Shackles? Eh, they don't really matter. Dead prince? Yup, he's dead. Or not. Maybe. Swarm of man-sized locusts headed for Rhoan? Who cares, come on.
Postman Pat? SHIT. YUMIL. SOMEONE HAS A LETTER FOR ME. SHIT. WHERE'S MY GRANDMOTHER. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY MY GRANDMOTHER WILL NOT ANSWER THE DOOR. YUMIL. MY GRANDMOTHER MUST BE OUT. SHE MUST NOT BE IN THE HOUSE. YUMIL. LISTEN. I NEED YOU TO DO ME A FAVOUR. I NEED YOU TO GO DOWNSTAIRS AND GET THAT LETTER THAT THE PERSON HAS. I NEED YOU TO DO THIS BECAUSE MY GRANDMOTHER IS OUT AND MY NAME IS FANA AND I AM SICK. WILL YOU DO THIS? Y/N
WILL YOU DO THIS? Y/N
Ah! So someone was home! Here, take this. Fare thee well!
This might be the only nice soldier in the game. All the others are either wanking over your misery, giving you the brush-off or saying "This place is off-limits!" in the snottiest, most infuriating way possible.
Thanks, Yumil! Oh, it's a letter from the children. I'm glad they're feeling better.
I don't have parents, you know. It was awfully lonely.
"Ha ha, well I sure wouldn't know anything about that, girl who still has one extant family member."
Then one day Grandma told me that many others were in my shoes. Even children who were much younger than me. I wondered if I could help get their minds off it. That's why I started making stuffed animals to send them. I sew them myself, of course. I just hoped I could bring them a little of the warmth they need.
They wrote to me saying, "Thanks, you've cheered us up!" I'm glad it helped them. It reminds them they're not alone.
Huh? My, look at the time! I'm sorry for talking your ear off.
Yeah, a whole two minutes since we came in. I'm sure you didn't mean to keep us.
I like to think this is Fana's subtle way of telling Yumil to get out. "Christ, I despise this kid. Every day he comes over and stares. Just fucking stares at me with that vacant grin and says nothing. And now he's caught me home alone. How long until grandma can rescue me? Damn it. Need an out. Need an out. OH MY, LOOK AT THE TIME oh please oh please god say he doesn't know how to tell time"
Come to think of it, isn't her clock broken?
Also, does Fana really like bragging about her charity work, or does Yumil just not know anything about his alleged friend?
And then you go downstairs and Helen was there the whole time. Including when you came in. Go figure.
She was probably hiding from the guard in case he tried to pin the locust swarms on her or something.
what the fuck happens
if you say no.
Let's play make-believe! Meenya's the captured princess, and you're the knight in shining armor!
Yeah, I'm not really comfortable with reinforcing traditional gender roles like that. You be the knight.
(She talkin' about me?! No way!)
Grass as the demon lord?!
Okay, here we go! Use your book to strike down the demon lord at the right moment!
Oh, my brave hero! I am but a poor princess in a kingdom to the East. Alas! The evil demon lord has captured me! Brave hero! You must strike him down with your holy sword!
So I have actual swords, but you want me to use the book and pretend it's a sword. Sure. Whatever.
This is basically a roundabout way of letting us scan some grass. Yep. Grass everywhere you look, but you can only scan this specific patch at this specific time.
Thank you, brave hero! Take this flower as thanks! Oops...I don't have a flower. Sorry! I'll get one from Duran next time! Thanks for playing with me today! I had lots of fun!
Oops! I gotta go now. See you later!
This princess is a handful.
What's that? You want to sign up? You can't go looking like that. It'd be suicide.
What?! This kid's a master sworsdman!
Go on! Run along home!
Well. While he could have been nicer about it, I suppose it's a good sign that they aren't sending kids out to get butchered. Shows they can hold their morals in times of strife.
Except it wasn't that long ago they were clamouring for our execution and then leaving us to starve in a cell. So much for that, then.
Damn, they won't take you seriously! I guess you do look sorta weak.
Hmm...what sort of equipment would make them accept you?
Twelve inches, ten years and muscle tone. BUT HEY, I'm sure if you come back with a shield, that'll be just as good.
No, really. That's where this is going.
If only there were someone who knew more about war. I know! Why not the town's sword master? Maybe we should try asking him!
Good idea! That old man might have the answer.
So, you've come. You're joining the war too? Unlike the others, you don't seem to be going for country or fame.
Of course not! We have more important things on our mind!
...hmph. You'll die on the field at this rate.
What'd that old man say?!
You have learned some sword skills. But how do you intend to avoid the sheet of arrows in battle?
Thank you. Defending yourself from a few monsters is not the same thing as fighting a war. Yumil is not physically or mentally equipped for this. Finally someone sees-
That way, you'll be prepared to fight on the battlefield.
Of course. A shield. Because arrows. I see no other potential problems with sending this child into war, where he will kill people, and watch people get killed, without any military training at all. PTSD? What is that, aside from made up pussy shit?
You need to get yourself a shield!
But where can you find one?
Let's try asking people around town!
I'm very busy now. Quit bothering me!
How dare you say that to me?!
What did you just...huh? My god, those ears!
That's right! I'm a member of the noble clan! Now take me to my father!
Another elf? C'mon, Yumil, let's not get involved.
Huh? But elves are Mieli's friends!
I don't have time to babysit you! Go find him on your own!
Hey! Now wait just a minute!
You there. Human child. Yes, you!
I'm sure you overheard that. My father is somewhere in this town. Do you know him?
I don't have the strength to be angry about this anymore.
I see. I'm Sylphy. Now then, Yumil. Take me to my father's home!
Stamp "WELCOME" on this kid's face, 'cause he is officially a doormat.
Father! I was worried!
I should say the same! Why did you leave the village?!
Father, please! I heard that the Empire was after this country. I came here to rescue you!
Don't be ridiculous. The imperial army's already attacked. There's no going back.
What? Don't worry about me. I can take on humans!
Don't underestimate the Empire. Now, Yumil, thank you for looking after her.
What?! This kid didn't do anything! You don't have to thank them!
Sylphy! You'll never make friends with that attitude!
Whatever. No human is a friend of us elves. They always die so quickly!
Hmph! As elf-like as an elf can get!
And the world will soon die! I feel sorry that she doesn't have any friends.
Please, allow me to thank you.
Yumil! Why not ask to see the shield?
Let me see the sword!
Err, I thank you for my daughter, but I have no sword to show you.
Also, what shield? This is the first time we've been in here and I haven't seen any shield.
If you visited the mayor's house before this, you'd know that the shield has been on his wall the whole time. But you probably haven't. It's been off-limits until this chapter and you have no reason to believe the situation has changed. You only have a brief window to go there before Sylphy forces you to. That's the only reason Sylphy is in the game. To drag you here so you can find that Georg just happens to have a shield he can give you. Otherwise you'd have no idea where to look for one.
This is such a contrived, railroady way of giving us something that really could have been optional. Unlike the other weapons, there is never a time when you need a shield, so I don't see why this is the one everyone makes a fuss over. Those "sheets of arrows"? They never happen. But that's for the next update.
I wouldn't mind so much if it actually accomplished something, but we still get turned down in the end.
Sorry, kid. We already got enough recruits. Just had the cut-off a second ago.
We appreciate your willingness to join the fight, but we're full. Go on home.
Scrawny kid? Yeah, he's gonna die. No thanks. Scrawny kid with a shield? Hell yeah! If only we weren't full!
Tough luck, Yumil. Now we'll just have to force our way there!
The troops head out tomorrow. I say we take a rest until then!
And then we go to bed. We head for Wargliss in the morning.
Now. Here's a part that wasn't in the narrative. Let me remind you that Yumil is a fugitive at this point. Suspected of treason, thrown in prison only to escape a minute later. Despite this, we can waltz right into the castle and talk to the guards. Do they give a damn?
No. But okay. Maybe these are different guards. Maybe they don't know who we are.
So let's head for the royal quarters and talk to Dorothea. Does she give a damn?
No. And she calls us by name, so she does remember us. But, okay, maybe she feels bad about it and doesn't mind that we escaped, or she assumes her dad released us, or something.
Now let's go to the audience chamber and talk to the king. The king who looked us in the eye and said "I want him imprisoned until the truth is found." The king who is now at war with Waisen and has great cause to worry about what a potential spy might have been up to. Does HE give a damn? Does he even comment on it?
Of course not. Of course he doesn't. This whole thing? Accused of spying, breaking out of prison? Done. Stopped being an issue the second we escaped. Never brought up again.
So what was the point of having us imprisoned to begin with? There wasn't one. Oh, you needed a reason to get us out of town? "You have to look for Mieli." There's your reason. It's a good reason. It's a reason that would have let you skip that utterly, utterly stupid kangaroo court scene.
Oh, and remember Nanai? Yeah, she's back. Guess what happens if you pay her a visit?
But heed my words. Those who harbour great power often meet a tragic end.
HEY, DO YOU REMEMBER THAT TIME YOU DROPPED ME IN A PIT.
BECAUSE I FUCKING DO.