Part 1: Prologue: The Fall of KahnaPrologue: The Fall of Kahna
Behold the kingdom of Kahna... lush, green, symmetrical...
And from the chapter title, pretty much doomed.
I am unable to awaken you..does the fate of Kahna lie in destruction?
The King of the country doesn't appear to be very sanguine about how things are going.
Cut to our heroes and the dragons. You might notice the two on the right side of the screen, who we haven't seen yet.
Suiting his name, Rush is pushing us forward. He's one of a trio of people that Byuu has helped by taking them on as members of the dragon squad.
Impatient much? Now that we've established our main character as a leader...
It's time for him to get a name. According to the Translation notes this was a difficult name to transliterate, and some people think that the original name might have been meant as View. The translator disagrees with this assessment.
Bikkebakke is another one of Byuu's compatriots, but unlike the others he has a dream above the Dragon Squad.
How did they not have names for the dragons before now?
Truce, the final member of our trio, provides some expositional information for us. One option is an explanation on mechanics, while the other gives us some backstory...
I've got to wonder where Truce was when this happened, considering the location of the flashback.
Masses of chanting followers and flamboyantly dressed upper leadership? Check.
Evidently the followers weren't necessary for what the emperor had in mind...
That's not a reassuring thing to see an enemy doing at the beginning of the game.
Sadness is apparently kind of... purple? From top to bottom we have the Emperor Sauzer and his top general, Palpaleos. There'll be more information revealed on these two as the story goes on.
Emperor Sauzer's world domination will be realized! We must not lose!
As a nice bit of confusion, you actually have to talk to Truce and say that you don't need to review anything in order to continue.
Evidently the kingdom of Kahna left its Dragon Squad behind during an attack on a sky fortress. I'm not sure I follow, but okay then.
As our heroes move out, we move to the next namable character.
Who evidently is the kind of person that might be expected to be able to read the thoughts of a sleeping dragon.
She's saved from answering when the screen shakes. The old man on the right is Sendak, one of the king's advisors and a summoner in his own right.
At least she appears to be trying to communicate with Bahamut, although she could probably stand to shout a bit louder.
I can't imagine what else they'd think would be happening. Mist is another character that we'll be seeing later, although not for a while.
Matelite is the leader of Kahna's knights, and a natural party member even if he appears to have a bit of an axe to grind against the Dragon Squad.
Unfortunately the king doesn't have an answer for this...
Sendak's reading is pretty well on, although I'm not sure at this late point in the war it would help to get their aid now.
The hopes of the nation rest on 4 men and 3 dragons.
We have to come in and report to the king, although our companions seem to be in a particular hurry about it.
In all fairness, it's not like you can really ignore a sky fortress even if it appears to be a diversion. Things like that have a nasty habit of not being diversions if you ignore them.
Matelite has a bit of a tendency to try and take charge of any situation regardless of whether he actually understands what's going on.
I never expected them to attack us here... we need to buy some time!!
Now that we have a quick run down of the plot, it's time for an easy battle to show that side of the game off.
To start the battle off, Matelite uses his Inspire technique to destroy the bridge and prevent enemies from crossing.
Before each battle begins, we receive a mission objective. These can change in mid-battle, and won't always necessarily be wholesale slaughter.
Combat takes place in two phases. We're going first, as is pretty much the standard in this game. Our phase ends when all of our characters have had a turn.
Each unit is made up of up to four members, which can be shuffled between battles to customize units. We can skip to the end of our turn without doing anything, but the other options are a bit more interesting.
Selecting Move darkens every area outside of the movement range of the unit. All units have an associated range, but adding a member with a longer than average range will always improve the range of the unit as a whole. Naturally some care has to be taken when placing your units.
The field command allows a unit to utilize attack techniques and spells on the field, any of which have additional uses outside of battle. The left number represents the number of squares an attack covers, while the right number tells us how far the spell reaches.
Dragons are controlled by the AI, and through the Dragon menu can be given three generalized commands. Come instructs them to stay close to their unit but still allows for attacks on enemy units within easy range. Telling a dragon to wait results in it sitting back away from battle and possibly using a healing ability if necessary. Far pretty much sets the dragon loose on its own to follow its own priorities.
Byuu is within range to use a field ability to damage this enemy soldier...
The result of which is a fairly impressive light show.
The spell hits every target in the area for a decent amount of damage. The level 1 indicates the elemental strength of the dragon associated with the units. Essentially the dragons provide power for the spells and techniques the units can use, as well as unlocking them based on the dragon's elemental affinities.
Using a field action gets experience for everyone in the party, although not as much as going into a full battle does.
Pinky moves on his own and places his attack to immolate two units. Dragons are smart enough in this game to pick their attacks for maximum devastation, but can sometimes mess with your carefully laid plans.
It's very possible to severely reduce enemy strength with well planned attacks before they even get a chance to move.
In this case the closest enemy units went after Pinky. 150 HP might seem like a lot, but Pinky has more than 2,000.
The exchange does not go well for the soldiers.
Experience, money, and item rewards are calculated on a per-battle basis.
Moving on to our next turn, we wipe out the ice mages since they've done their part and could be a problem for our bunched up units. Byuu's unit wiped them out using his Flame Hit technique, resulting in the items received from the battle being fire elemental. Manipulating drops like this is an important part of game play.
Matelite's unit finishes up the ice bridge with their magic, resulting in a way to cross the river.
Now, what could he mean by that?
When human units are attacked, you get to select your actions for the battle. As the initiating unit, however, the enemy will still go first.
Although before they can do so, Inky wants to add his two cents. Dragons can come in for a free attack if they're next to their supported unit.
Wiping out this group of enemies results in almost 25 times as much XP as a long range attack, gaining everyone in the group a level. The thunder grass you see here is a result of one of the mages using a thunder attack.
Byuu drops a flame hit between the enemy units...
Melting the ice under their feet.
Used strategically, this combination has a chance of taking enemy units out of the fight and killing them. However, since these enemies are within reach of solid ground they can scramble out on their turn.
With only one enemy left it's easy to hammer them into defeat.
Every living member of our army gets bonus experience for surviving the battle, leading to a few level ups. Sendak and his group are still lagging behind a bit.
This could be a bit of a problem...
Although as it turns out those guys are the least of our worries.
Inside the castle we come upon a scene to inspire nightmares. The defenders are crumpled on the ground except for Matelite, who repeatedly makes fruitless charges at one of Sauzer's generals. With each charge the screen darkens slightly, with the general laughing all the while.
Sauzer wants Yoyo for some (as yet) unexplained reason...
Interestingly enough, even with her father practically in arm's reach she cries out for help from other people first. Adding injury to kidnapping, Yoyo's captors punch her in the stomach and then haul her off.
Considering that Bahamut apparently did nothing during this battle, it could be that Sauzer is being... premature in his gloating.
Considering the fact that everyone in Kahna appeared to know about Bahamut, it's not really surprising that Sauzer knows about this legend.
Like most grandiose villains, Sauzer appears to believe that he'll be well regarded for his efforts. Unlike many pretenders, however, it appears that Sauzer is at least reasonably competent as far as empire building is concerned.
The king of Kahna shouts defiance, but it seems empty considering his own lack of success in dealing with Bahamut.
The moment I conquer the world, their time shall begin. And that time begins now!
I will say that Sauzer has a tendency to monologue a bit.
In appearance, this is remarkably similar to the city destroying spell that was used earlier.
Except that in this case, it's all focused on one person. At least they were kind enough to take his daughter out of the room first.
At this point, our story can really begin.
While you can later save at will during non-battle segments, the game also presents you with an opportunity to save at the end of each chapter.
Next time: Now that the mechanics explanation and intro are out of the way, it's time to really get started.