Part 10: The prettiest king of them all.Update 10: The prettiest king of them all.
Video: The Imperial Embassy
Well, things aren't looking too good for the capital. Walking past this first building prompts Kalas to eavesdrop on someone.
They made Lyude's voice here for this one line sound extra-distorted (since you're hearing them through a physical wall AND the fourth wall). He sounds kinda like one of the adults form Peanuts.
The king doesn't want Diadem to go to war. You have my word, Sire!
I don't recall asking for your opinion, boy. I am acting under a direct order from the Emperor. An order, I am quite sure, you are in no position to challenge. Don't tell me you still believe that nonsense about the infidels being equal to the Empire's chosen elite!
Have you already forgotten why you were exiled to this godforsaken land, Ambassador? One would think foolishness would have its limits. Either way, your opinion is irrelevant. Just do what you're told, and stay out of the way. Unless you're asking for more than just another exile.
Wow, Lyude really wasn't kidding before when he said he was sent here because the Empire hates him. Oh well, he's probably way happier here anyway.
The scene cuts back to outside...
Yeah, looks like the Emperor's trying to draw attention from himself and make King Ladekahn look like the bad guy for some reason. What could they be after?
The sealed power of an ancient god...
What?! Are you serious?
We...I came to warn your king, but it's too late now...
Heeeyyy, good job, Xelha! You finally realized that you and Kalas are not a we!
He doesn't seem too bright, does he? Thickheads like him won't live to see their twenties.
Well, that wasn't very nice.
Please do something! You must save the king! If anyone, you're the one that can do it!
All right, all right. I'm on my way. Just tone it down, will ya?
Wait, Gibari's important? He's just a fisherman. Maybe he's the king's brother or something, run away to live a simple life?
...Is he okay?
Yes, yes...thank god. Imperial soldiers stormed the castle, but they were held off at the inner wall. They're in a stalemate of sorts now, against the King's Knights.
Gotcha. I'll do whatever I can. You better lat low indoors. Okay?
Thank you! We're counting on you, Gibari!
The stranger then runs off in a clearly not-indoors direction. Meanwhile, I decide to check out the building next door to the Embassy.
This store has some decent stuff. This is a great sword for Kalas it's actually a little bit more powerful than his Blue Storm finisher. There's also some decent but not particularly interesting stuff to buy for Gibari and Xelha.
...and some other strange things. A horn...that is an attack item...that nobody can use...?
Ooh, my savings have garnered interest! I didn't actually end up selling this because I thought maybe it would get even more interest over time, but after looking it up I'm pretty sure this is as good as it gets. Thankfully, it doesn't look like it will get worse over time, so I can sell it for a healthy 3000 gold profit later.
I leave the shop with more money than I had going in, and start exploring some houses.
Sadly, the Greythornes have the most interesting dialogue here. All of the human NPCs same some variant of The soldiers and our knights are fighting, I hope everyone/The King is okay, staying inside all the time is boring. I didn't even find any of Quzman's relatives.
There's still some good loot to be found ransacking houses, though...
...also some less good loot.
Th next two magnus are behind an obvious secret passage behind a bookcase that connects two houses. You can see it in the picture where I get the red/blue pencil.
Well, that was a pretty decent haul! Now that I've explored everywhere, I guess I'll go ahead and make my way to the castle.
Video: A violation
Well, you can count me out. All I care about is avenging Gramps and Fee. I don't have time to play around with the Empire.
Are you just going to leave the people of Diadem in the Empire's clutches? How could you live with yourself?
I love this line.
Pictures can't truly capture what happens next...
We need you, kid! You and your Guardian Spirit!
Aw! Fine, I'll help you! Just get your hands off me!
Phew! You could've squeezed the life outta me!
We're all set, then. Let's get this party started.
Umm...can't we at least wait until nightfall? We can't exactly sneak in during broad daylight.
We don't have time for that! The sooner the better!
Xelha's right. We gotta get movin'.
All right, I see what's going on here now. You two are nuts! If you get me killed in there, I swear I'll come back as a ghost and haunt you forever. You've been warned.
Wow, Xelha. I really didn't think you had it in you to deliver such a well-placed, fiery burn. +10 awesome points.
Sheesh! Hey, Legion, why don't you hop into Xelha's being for a change? Teach her a thing or two.
Let's get down to business. Here's the plan...since the castle is surrounded on all sides...How about steal-err, borrowing a small boat from the harbor and flying directly into the castle from above?
Sounds like a good idea.
What do you think, Legion?
Are you crazy? The odds of getting in like that are next to none, Legion. Gibari's plan sounds like the only way in.
Well then why did you bother asking me? God, you're such a dickweed
We can't let the Empire reach Kind Ladekahn.
No Empire's gonna tread on this nation if I can help it.
So we have a plan. Now it's just a simple matter of returning to the previous screen.
You may notice that there's a blue save flower nearby. An intelligent person would take advantage of it to level up and more importantly class Gibari up.
I'm not an intelligent person.
The characters talk about how we need to sneak over to it and not get caught, but I've never encountered any trouble form the guards just by running over to the ship and immediately using it.
Music: Imperial Dynamics
Welcome to Castle Elnath. I can't say I'm especially fond of the place, but it's got some interesting stuff to talk about. We are currently on the roof, and need to work our way towards the throne room where Ladekahn should be.
I do have to admit that this is a pretty cool looking castle. As with the rest of the island, there are clouds all over the place, adding some ambiance.
Yet another new sword for Kalas that is a bit better than Blue Storm. As you might have guessed, the lower level finishers will eventually get obsoleted, although I still keep some of them in anyway because I like the animations.
So here's the deal with this place. Throughout the castle, there are six places where we will run across the King's Knights fighting Imperial soldiers. For whatever asinine reason, we are not allowed to help the Knights; instead, we have to deploy knights of our own. If you deploy enough (or high enough level) knights, the knights will win and you get a magnus. If you don't deploy enough, the knights will die and you have to fight the Imperials they were facing.
What I didn't know until this playthrough is that you can also tie - the knights and Imperials will continue fighting and you can go on your way. However, this still won't get you a reward.
If you deploy enough Knights that the Knights win, they will give you an Aura Magnus.
As previously mentioned, there are six places where we can/must help the Knights. Each one gives you a different elemental Aura. Auras are another special kind of Magnus: they can only be used defensively, and like the Yells you must use the proper elemental defense card beforehand (so I could follow up the wind-based Calm Helmet with Wind Aura).
What's interesting about Auras is that, once you play one, it will automatically end the enemy's combo. So, for example, if an enemy performs a four hit combo, I could use the Calm Helmet to block the first attack and Wind Aura to block the second...and by using Wind Aura, the enemy's third and fourth hits will just not happen. They become obsoleted.
It's very handy in certain battles, especially with bosses that like to fuck around with status effects or health drain. Unfortunately, they are still rather situational since you have to have a proper elemental defense card to play first.
Oh, and this is the only place you can get the Auras. So if you mess this minigame up, you can kiss your 100% Magnus Gathering goodbye. And like the Yells, Auras have multiple levels.
There is some good news, though; the minigame isn't really that hard, and there's not a whole lot of lengthy cutscene between here and the last savepoint if you screw up.
This is the infirmary. There are six knights in here that you can recruit by showing them the Diadem Crest that the Head Knight gave us earlier.
For what reason? Ugh.
The soldiers are decently dangerous. They can do upwards of 100 damage (more like 150 for the black-clad ones) and the red ones can put your characters to sleep so they can't defend against the next attack. They're still more of annoyance than a proper threat, though.
Paltry healing item. You'll notice that it mentioned water, a pot, and flames a hint as to what I might be able to turn it into by using the proper sequence of Magnus.
After fighting through most of the castle, we can finally work our way to a bedroom with a window that we can somehow use to reach the upper floor. From there, we can reach a balcony, where...
Video: Crazy bitch
...we can see the Imperial commander and King Ladekahn facing off.
Hey, isn't that Lyude down there? What is he thinking? Just standing there isn't going to stop the army.
Surrender peacefully, and the lives of your men and people will be spared.
My Lord, their words are not to be trusted! I smell treachery!
I await your answer. Surrender now, lest you doom your kingdom and people! (really brief pause) The Empire declares Diadem! We will not allow you to take us by surprise!
I must face them.
My lord! Please reconsider!
Don't worry. I have no desire for martyrdom. They won't harm me. Even the Empire follows a code of ethics.
Oh, good. I was worried Xelha was going to be the most baselessly optimistic character in the game.
They are not to be trusted!!
I will discuss the matter directly with Emperor Geldoblame. This stalemate must come to an end.
Protect the castle while I am away.
Whatever the cost, My Lord.
He's coming out. You know what to do.
Hey! She's the one that...
Here I am! Order your men to pull back, and take me to your Emperor.
I believe someone in the thread mentioned that the characters are really bad about doing the whole JRPG Sit around and do nothing worthwhile as drama unfolds before them issue. Good job letting Ladekahn get shot, guys.
The King's Knights rush forward, but...
Silence. The King must be disposed of...Emperor's orders.
Damn you! Is this the way of the Empire? The way of your Emperor, Geldoblame?!
Shoot him! Put him out of his misery.
You got it.
She fires again...and fails to kill him again...
You...you're missing his vitals on purpose, aren't you?
The man is spewing out his last words. Might as well grant him a little glory. So where does His Lordship want to be shot next? Ah ha ha ha!!
Tell me, where?
For best results, hear her voice as if she's asking a naked man where she wants her to lick him next.
The good news is, finding out that Ayme gets off by shooting people is enough to spur the characters into action!
Note that Xelha is over helping Ladekahn, thus making room for Lyude to participate in this battle.
This is getting interesting! Must be my lucky day. It's getting more fun by the minute. You won't be getting away this time.
That's MY line! Prepare to die!
Ambassador Lyude! You dare to defy the Emperor? To threaten your own people? To think that you'd stoop so low...You're finished, traitor!
This line annoys me. I really don't know why, but every time I've heard/read it while writing this up I've wished that I could crawl through the dimensional gap and grab him by the shoulders and shake him until he gets a headache.
Godforsaken fool. You seem to fit in quite well with the scum of this nation. We'll be more than happy to take you out with the rest of the garbage.
Ayme flies off on her rocket boots, while the Imperial commander just kinda vanishes, and
Ready to die? Hope you enjoy your trip to hell!
Music: Rumbling of the Earth
Welcome to the Iron Beetle V fight. Ayme is somewhere inside, piloting that thing.
This battle is...well...it's not that it's hard exactly, though I would say it's the most difficult yet. It's more obnoxious than anything, for one major reason.
It can fully heal itself.
The good news is, it can only do this once per deck shuffle. The bad news it seems to be random as to when the boss will use this skill. If it uses it early in it's deck cycle, then you should be fine. If it uses it late, then you may not be able to kill it before it gets to use it again. This drags the battle out quite a bit longer than it really needs to be. I try to hold back and get a good combo set up to unleash right after it heals, but you may be better off just bum-rushing it and trying to kill it before it can Self-Repair at all.
It's not quite as powerful as it's cousin from the Cloud Passage. Then again, it's able to attack every turn instead of every other, so it has higher damage output overall.
Since he's here, let's have a look at Lyude. Lyude is a curious character; as you have probably guessed, he is the character who can use those horn-gun-somethings that I showcased at the shop earlier. What's particularly interesting about these weapons is that they only come in Light, Dark, and non-elemental versions: as such, Lyude has virtually no access to water/fire/wind/time outside of offensive items.
Having said that, while Lyude is fairly average against common enemies, he is devastating against light or dark based enemies, since he can readily exploit their weakness. He is the best character for dealing with both, actually Xelha comes close to matching his Light-based offense (though he'll really pull ahead later), and I don't think anybody can really keep up with his Dark-based offense, though that's not generally as helpful since there are so few light-based enemies. By being careful with how you distribute the two elements, you can build him to be quite powerful.
He also has some awesome Finishers. Concerto will never be leaving his deck, ever.
And in case you were wondering, yes, Lyude is a living Xenosaga reference. Like Little Master Rubedo Junior, his attacks have a musical theme.
I wish I had more to say about this boss, but I really don't. I will say that Lyude has a Rooster card in his deck (may cure sleep) and that it's great fun to imagine him throwing a rooster at a tank. Actually, you could even conceivably make that the finishing blow if you put it on the end of an attack string!
Of course, Ayme doesn't die because they put a lot of effort into that character portrait and she better get more than fifteen lines out of it.
Hmm, looks like a decent piece of equipment. I also get another dark weapon for Lyude and, of course, a commemorative photograph.
Hey! Where do you think you're going?
Let 'm go, kid! Follow me.
Some time later...
This is the best throne room ever imagined. Indeed, this is one of the most beautiful spots in the game, at least in my opinion. I like to think that the reason Ladekahn is so pretty is because he knows he has to compete with this room.
Speaking of the king, he's alive. I have to say, I like that the game actually provided an explanation for him surviving instead of him just having plot armor, even if that explanation is The girl who shot him gets wet over human suffering
Lyude...where are you?
I'm here, Sire.
Your homeland...You lost it on our account. I'm so sorry.
No, Sire. It was by my own will. It is I who must ask forgiveness, for what my people have done. I can't believe the horror, the recklessness...
You need not feel responsible for what the Empire has done. It's something beyond your control.
Hello, Gibari. It's certainly been a while. You came just in time. Are these your friends? You saved us from disaster. I'm truly thankful.
We are honored, my Lord. If only we could have come earlier...
And the game once again glosses over just how exactly it is that Gibari and Ladekahn know each other in the first place.
King Ladekahn, there is something I must ask you...It's very important.
Please do. I'll answer to the best of my ability.
Would the royal family have any legends, tales of forbidden places, or old warning passed down from your forefathers? Maybe something mentioning the gods of old?
Why do you ask?
There's little time for details now...But I believe that is the key to finding out what the Empire is after.
What?! Are you sure of this?...
Now that I think about it, is there any particular reason why the king should know? I mean, Rodolfo didn't really know anything about the shiny magnus in the forest. Then again, Sadal Suud's government isn't passed down by bloodline...
Lay not your hands on it, lest they be awakened. Woe to those who awaken the malevolent gods of old, banished and sealed away eons ago...
The god*S* of old? I thought it was just the one Malpercio?
These verses were passed down from generation to generation within the royal line. It is a Lord's duty to protect the Shrine, and then to pass that duty on to his successor. Yet this obligation came to be regarded as mere folklore form some time ago. Mere legends...but you believe them to be true?
Yes...I am sure of it. Ancient ruins exist in Sadal Suud as well. The shining Magnus that was sealed there has already fallen into Geldoblame's hands...
Voice Acting folly: Xelha says The shining Magnues. That was sealed there. Has already fallen into Geldoblame's hands.
An ancient Magnus, sealed away...Now in Geldoblame's possession...It seems we have little time to lose. I need all my knights to defend this castle. Gibari, I must ask a favor of you.
Yes, My Lord. I'll see to it that the Shrine is safe.
Thank you, Gibari. Whatever it is that lies in the Shrine, we can't allow it to fall into the Empire's clutches.
As you wish, My Lord.
I'm going with you.
Everyone turns and stares...
All right, all right. I'll come with you. Quit giving me the look already!! You coming, Legion?
In addition to the usual Guardian Spirit response vote...We officially have four party members to choose from! Please cast your vote as to which three characters should be my battle party for the upcoming
Watch out! I'm not that innocent! MAGIC! Soul Flash!