Part 19: Hall of MirrorsMy apologies for the delay. I started working on this but then all these people I know came over and started chanting and made me eat this big wet brown thing and throwing boxes at me and it was really scary you guys.
Update 17: Hall of Mirrors
Of course, we know where the Che End Magnus has gone...
?! S...seriously? You really know where it is, Legion?
...but the game still won't let us break the plot over our knees. Oh well, at least we got to screw with Kalas' head a little.
Tsk! You don't really know, do you? Don't mess with me like that, Legion...
Sorry, Legion doesn't know either.
All we can do is retrace our steps back to the ship, and look for it along the way...
And they do exactly that. We're treated to pictures of them searching Reverence, Detourne, and caketown, to no avail...
Someone might have already picked it up...
Very unlikely. If someone found it, I';m pretty sure the ensuing fuss would have reached us by now.
You have a point. The village was just as quiet as always...
I still don't get it. How could you drop something like that without noticing, Kalas?
I like this moment. It's a rare scene where someone is kind of a jerk to Kalas instead of the other way around. I kind of wish it had been Savyna or Lyude to point this out, though.
Hey, you're not blaming me for this, are you? Give me a break, already! Since when was I in charge of all our stuff?
You're right. This is everyone's fault. We shouldn't put all the blame on Kalas.
Hmmm...it still doesn't add up...
...Are you sure you dropped it?
It's unlikely we would drop something like that without noticing. This naturally brings up the possibility of theft.
But how? Who'd be able to grab it without us noticing?
Someone among us. It's unlikely that anyone else could have.
Since we don't know exactly when it was stolen, it's possible that any of us could have taken it.
This might be the very most awful thing Lyude says in his entire life.
The Great Mizuti?...I'd say no, never came anywhere near our stuff. Besides, I doubt that little creature could lift anything from us without standing out.
So...it was one of us, then?
It most certainly wasn't me!
Hey, Lyude, relax. No one's accusing you.
Don't worry, Lyude. We know you're not under the Empire's mind spell anymore. The doctor in Diadem said you're clean.
I know I didn't...but am I really...I couldn't have taken it...right?
I wonder what it must be like to know that you got brainwashed once and could be again or worse yet, that you could still have leftover brainwashing from the first time? It must be rather hellish. Poor Lyude.
Supposing one of us did steal the Magnus, where is it now? None of us is carrying it, and there weren't any chances to pass it on to the Empire.
We did encounter Giacomo and his goons in the Shrine of Spirits...
But none of us would have had enough time during that battle to hand it to them. So where is it? How did the thief hide it without us noticing?
Hm, let's just stop talking about this...We're not getting anywhere. Let's just trust each other and move on. Now that we've literally lost our entire hand, we can't allow the Empire to get this island's End Magnus.
But can we really trust each other? There may be a traitor among us.
Giacomo and the others could have stolen our End Magnus somehow, as part of a ruse to turn us against each other. If so, it's working well so far...
...Xelha, that's...that's very dumb. If we can't figure out who took the Magnus, and if it does indeed turn out to be one of us, then this island's End Magnus will end up in the Empire's hands whether we get to it first or not. Which means we are once again rushing forward to inevitably fulfill the Empire's plans. I know you believe in the power of goodness and friendship and stuff and that's fine, but your optimism is flying way past the idiot line here.
(Ugh, I sound like Kalas. Someone hit me).
Anyway, we should head for Duke Calbren's Manor. Giacomo may be up to something while we're sitting here. We have no time to waste...We'll be all right if we trust each other. We have to.
I agree. Things will only get worse if we wait.
All right! We'll have time to worry about this later. Sooner or later we'll find out what happened to our End Magnus. Let's take care of the more crucial problems first.
Okay. Let's go pay a visit to Duke Calbren. We must prevent Geldoblame from obtaining this island's End Magnus.
Well, so much for good sense winning the day. Mira's capital city, Balancoire, is in the center of the map. By now I'm sure you're expecting a mind-breaking, eye-melting journey for the main city of this strange and wonderful land...
Well, you would be wrong. Balancoire is quite mundane compared to the rest of the island. It's main draw is it's mist.
Yeah. It's foggy and that's why it's special. What a letdown...
Oh, it's so CUTE! Never mind, this place is pretty okay.
We can go to Calbren's manor, but the guards tell us that there's no admission because Melodia's missing. That's right, despite our major detour looking for Che, Melodia somehow still hasn't gotten here before us. So we have to run around and trip several event flags to proceed. Let's start by checking out the house to the right.
I gotta tell ya, life in this town sure changed for the worst once your family was gone. Your grandfather had such a knack for repairing things. The tools and gadgets that were repaired by him sprang back to life. It was as if those inanimate machines had been infused with life by your grandfather. These days, broken things are just thrown away. The repair shops around here just mishandle your broken items and give them back to you even more busted up. I wish you would open a shop like your grandfather and settle down in Balancoire.
I really can't see Kalas being a mechanic. Much less a mechanic who doesn't (intentionally) bust things up even more than they were.
...I was going to transcribe this but it's just more reminiscing about how Kalas' grandfather was super awesome and made life shiny and wonderful for everyone, so sad he died, stuff like that. Anyway, I'm pretty sure one or both of these guys is one of the event flags needed to progress.
Decentish armor for Xelha.
The following events aren't necessary, but are too good not to include.
Yes! I remember now. You're that unruly whippersnapper, Kalas! I haven't seen you around lately. What have you been up to? What are you doing back in Balancoire? Did you come back to live here? Say, why don't you marry that girl from the diner? What was her name? Trill, wasn't it?
Get married, huh? I tell ya, Kalas, you're quite the ladies man!!
Trill...that's the hyperactive, er, well, I mean, the spirited girl we met in the Confectionary Village. She was VERY friendly to Kalas. I see...you'll marry her...
K-Kalas! Is that true?!
No way! Trill was just a childhood friend. Don't go spreading rumors, old man.
Ha ha ha. Sorry. I just remembered some of your old pranks and wanted to pay you back. Well, you were good friend. There's not much difference.
I love that man.
Music: Star Spangled Journey
But one day, a swirling whirlpool engulfed the land, and Mira fell into a dimensional rift. Mira was about to sink into an abyss so deep there was no hope of ever emerging again. It was then that a group of mysterious wizards appeared from the depths of the Earth. The wizards, calling themselves the Guardians, saved Mira somehow. The Guardians spoke these words to my ancestors:
None should ever attempt to unearth them...Should they be unsealed, all five evils unleashed, our world would succumb to the everlasting curse of the evil god Malpercio. Malpercio will never be restored to his full might, for the Guardians destroyed his evil in its entirety. However, should the white-winged darkness alight upon this land, the world will disappear without a sound, swallowed by a maelstrom of chaos. This story is from the dream of a great whale, wise and old...It goes back for ages before the continents rose into the Sky, when Earth, Ocean, and Man still lived as one...What happens after that, is no longer known...Our only hope is the Ocean, long lost...Find us, O Mighty Ocean, and forgive us...
I'd never heard that story before.
Most people these days don't know of it. The young seldom listen to the musings of us elderly. Wouldn't you say?
The five great evils must be referring to the End Magnus.
It reminds me of the King's story in Diadem...but what was that about Malpercio never being revived fully? Or the white-winged darkness?
Since the Guardians completely destroyed Malpercio, he can never be resurrected. But what about the five great evils being unleashed, and the awakening of Malpercio's curse? What could that possibly be?
I know this is a prophecy or perhaps I should say warning but I don't understand what this all means.
That's the nature of prophecy. We will know when the time comes.
But wouldn't it be too late by then?...
Well, that was certainly an interesting story. For the moment all we can do is muse on most of it, but as time passes we'll learn a bit more about the true nature of Malpercio and this mysterious "white-winged darkness".
Okay, that's another event flag done. The only other one I know for sure of is that you have to go to the diner and talk to Trill's parents. They both have nothing of note to say (actually I think her dad starts up a sidequest but I didn't realize it until way later so whoops, I'll get back to that). However, there is one cool thing I can do in there.
Remember this? It aged into something new.
Doing all that finally prompts Melodia to return. I like how all of the event flags occur indoors somewhere so this can occur as you exit a building. It's not really important, but it's a nice touch, I think. Let's head off to Calbren's to talk to her.
Only to overhear...
Jerkface1: Malformed wings are the direct result of a malformed heart. His soul must have been tainted at birth.
Jerkface2: Yeah, what a miserable cursed life. That fire two years ago, he must have caused that too. Poor old Georg, he never should have adopted that kid...
Wow, that's harsh. I hate you two. I hope Malpercio kills you if/when he comes back.
Are you all right, Kalas?
Huh? Oh, it's nothing. I'm used to it. People say these things all the time.
Aww...poor kid just needs a friend. Oh well, he has us, I guess.
Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to visit us.
I am truly grateful for what you have done. Your other friend arrived a bit earlier.
What other friend?
please be who I think it is pleasepleaseplease
YES! Baten Kaitos loves us and wants us to be happy!
It's you! What are you doing here?
The Great Mizuti be here to protect the very important Bo. Knew you be coming. Knew because she has the Earth Sphere.
The important Bo? The Earth Sphere? What are you talking about?
Dammit Xelha, I wanted to know what Mizuti was talking about! It's rude to interrupt people.
I have reason to believe you may know something about the End Magnus in this land...We have little time left. Emperor Geldoblame is plotting to release the five End Magnus and resurrect Malpercio. Please tell us. Where is the End Magnus now?
I was just asking Grandfather that same question. Please, Grandfather. Tell us what you know.
They are not to be disturbed. Melodia told me what happened, but is Emperor Geldoblame really trying to obtain them?
Yes. Three of the five End Magnus are already in his possession...
Is that so? The Emperor must not realize how dangerous those things are. Long ago, the End Magnus sealed here was discovered by one of my ancestors, a historian. He found it in the Mystical Garden, and unsealed it by accident. This is what shifted Mira to waver across the boundary between the dimensions...
Wouldn't his ancestor have needed the pendant to do that? I suppose it's possible that the pendant is originally from Mira before it wound up in Geldoblame and then Xelha's hands.
The End Magnus now lies underneath this manor, heavily protected.
In the basement? I would never have thought!
I knew I would have to tell you about this someday, Melodia. It is a dark legacy, handed down from generation to generation by the Dukes of Mira. Yet, till now, I didn't have the heart to tell you about it...I wish we could simply forget about it, and just leave it sealed underground forever.
Grandfather...If this is the duty and birthright of our lineage, I will gladly take over the responsibility. Please don't worry. I will bear the burden of our heritage.
Melodia...I'm glad to hear that. The Duchy of Mira has a worthy heir. The entrance is in our ancestors' shrine room. There is a hidden door that leads underground.
You should have told her earlier! Things would have been much easier...
Music: Spray of Shock
OH COME ON
The Emperor's men? Does your Emperor truly intend to unseal all of the End Magnus? Doesn't he realize what would happen to the world? That this would bring ruin to civilization, yet again?!
We will know in due time. I'll be relieving you of your precious End Magnus.
And then he busts out a bullshit teleporter because he can do that know.
Now that I think about it, it was really quite foolish of Giacomo to announce his presence once he knew the location of the End Magnus. I suppose he's confident that he'll get it even if we know he's going after it (which, given our track record, is a reasonable expectation).
This not be good! They're trying to wake it! The Great Mizuti must hurry!
Wait! What in the world are you?
Kalas, that can wait! Right now we have to go after the End Magnus!
Okay, right. Let's go together, Great Mizuti!
So now that I have The Great Mizuti, it's time to go to church. I've blown that off for a while and we can keep Giacomo waiting a bit.
Since this put me past 20 Magnus, I got the Golden Anklet as a special prize. It's a goodish equip for Xelha.
Yeah, I'm okay with that. Burning Arrow is pointless and I don't like Yells, but the Robe of Firelight and Gladius are both high end magnus for this point.
Kalas is still excellent all around, especially thanks to the buckle he has.
Lyude is still proof of how stats don't matter when you have great magnus and inner rage.
Gibari's stats have officially hit underwhelming, and the supercreel isn't enough to fix his agility anymore.
Xelha is a bit stronger than I remember and is still crazy fast, but kind of fragile.
Savyna doesn't seem to have any major strengths or weaknesses.
So Mizuti's stats are
Wait, Mizuti is FOURTEEN?
Uhh, so anyway, Mizuti's stats are pretty bleh right now, for two reasons: as a new recruit, Mizuti has a crappy piece of equipment, and that join level of 22 is fixed, meaning my other characters have a four or five level lead.
At comparable levels, I recall Mizuti being one of the fastest (behind Xelha but ahead of everyone else, I think), the weakest, and the lowest HP...but also the highest defense. This makes Mizuti as bizarre a character statwise as storywise. Mizuti can be a potentially excellent tank with a good defensive Magnus setup despite that poor HP stat. I've heard that some people like to use both Xelha and Mizuti and just make Xelha offensive and Mizuti defensive/healing, which is sort of funny considering that is the opposite of how their character archetypes are set up.
Oh, I guess I'd better explain that: The Great Mizuti and Xelha share a Magnus set. They have individual finishers, but otherwise they use the same attack Magnus (Chronos Blow, Light Flare, etc) and the same defense Magnus (Robe of Firelight, Millinery, etc). To be honest, I have never tried to use both at once before (mostly because The Great Mizuti is awesome and Xelha's voice is grating in battle, so I use Mizuti as an excuse to get Xelha out of my party), but I wouldn't mind giving it a go for the LP.
Okay, let's head back to the basement.
Just head to the left a bit, and...
Music: An Icy Fog
That's great but where am I?
This dungeon is a huge pain the first time through, but even so I like the idea behind it. The place is a hall of mirrors. One of the fractures actually moves along with Kalas (you can only see his feet in that one though, so it's still not especially helpful), and the others just give you different perspectives of the area.
Using my rudimentary drawing skills, I have created a basic rendition of the area. There are two enemies that patrol the circle, which can be avoided by using the central line or just timing your movements right, but in either case it's hard to do since it's so hard to see where you are in relation to them.
The second room is easier to follow, but still a bit confusing. You have to keep an eye on your reflection, and usually you need to have the reflection interact with objects instead of the more visible Kalas. Or perhaps Kalas is the reflection? I dunno. Navigating the room itself is easy, you just need to position yourself awkwardly to pick up stuff and examine the teleporter to the next room. Oh, and as you saw, I got a new constellation.
The final room is even more difficult to follow. I've accidentally progressed when I meant to go back a few times here.
It's kind of mean to place a save flower where it's easy to miss. You'll know it's there since a fracture focuses on it, but it's hard to find...
The enemies here are pretty cool. These guys can boost an ally's or their own attack. Fighting two at once can be dangerous since one will boost the other's attack before it attacks you, but on their own they're not too much trouble.
These Nunkirantula reduxes can be frustrating. They like to Freeze your characters and then gang up on the frozen character while they can't defend. They also can increase an ally's or their own defense, and if they increase their own defense they get to attack afterward. Fortunately, they're rather weak, but battles against them can take a long time.
There are also hellhounds which can inflict Flames on two characters per turn or just use a normal attack.
I like the hellhound/spider battle setup because it pits you against enemies who inflict opposing status effects. A frozen character who gets hit with a fire based attack is immediately thawed, and flames can be extinguished by water attacks, so it's very possible that the two enemies will cancel out each other's status effects.
This place also has some great drops. I farmed several Assassin's Hoods for a certain upcoming boss fight, and Chronos Blow is my favorite spell so I got bunches of those as well. I never knew about that notebook, though. It aged into a Blank Notebook quite quickly. GFAQs says there are a lot of permutations of this book (between the two books, that is) that I can create with the various pens I have, so I'm thinking I'll load this into Lyude's deck later.
I also decided to check up on some of my current magnus to see what's aged.
Aged from Chump Change. Very nice! This went to Lyude.
Okay, enough chat about the dungeon. After a ton of grinding (but no leveling up at the church), I'm ready to face off against the boss.
Quite clever, wouldn't you say? Using mirrors to reinforce the seal.
Stop! You mustn't break the seal!
I'm not really sure how this works. Since Calbren's ancestor unsealed this End Magnus already, shouldn't the Guardian already be slain? It's cool that Giacomo didn't need the pendant for this one, though. That was a nice touch.
Also, see those bug things surrounding the boss? They flutter their wings really quickly and it made my capture device lag like crazy and even YADIF didn't really know what to do with them for deinterlacing, so they look really strange, but I like the effect it ended up having (like they're phasing in and out of reality, much like Mira itself) so I don't mind too terribly.
Do you wish so much to prevail, knowing it to be but a fleeting dream? Prepare yourselves, pathetic fools!
Music: The True Mirror (Guitar Version)
Obligatory Sforzondo pic.
This boss is called Phantasm. It is average.
Lightning is an okay powerful attack, but nothing to worry overmuch about (and like the Thunderfish, it is theoretically an element that is not affiliated with this game so I think it qualifies as light based).
The Great Mizuti is still at class 3, and is thus limited to four attacks per turn instead of 5 like everyone else (6 for Kalas). Coupled with such low attack power, Mizuti's attacks tend to be rather underwhelming here, especially since Mizuti's only elemental finisher is Chronos based, which I believe Phantasm resists a bit.
Speaking of which, that's another odd but charming thing about Mizuti. Mizuti's first three finishers are non-elemental the ONLY non-elemental finishers in the game. It's not really relevant, but I think it's interesting.
Phantasm recycles the old Guardian gimmick of being able to paralyze, but Phantasm gets to do it twice per round, which is more annoying but still not dangerous.
The fight is boring, but I gotta admit that's a pretty cool attack. Decently painful, too.
But just like it's brothers...
...it can't handle us.
The finisher is Savyna's Vanish Grenade, and the constellation is Capricornus. Is that the same as Capricorn? Either way, Mizuti's class up item is much more exciting!
The End Mangus starts freaking out.
NO! The End Magnus is being unsealed!
This is bad! What should be do?
Leave this to the Great Mizuti!
Kalas, use the Shadow!! Use the Shadow Magnus, Kalas!! Quickly!!
Great! Now we just need to sit back and let Giacomo steal it from us.
...Wasn't expecting that one, though. Fuck.
That stone...could it be?
Mizuti then passes out. Time to move on to our post-End Magnus scene.
Music: On The Throne
They claim that the five End Magnus are the remains of a dead god, taken apart and buried separately.
The corpse of a dead god?
Now is all makes sense. The names of the End Magnus, Ar, Le, Che, Bo...They must be named according to each body part. Arms, Legs, Chest, Body...
A god's powers are retained in its remains, long after death...The five End Magnus were infused with the power of an evil god...
The fifth and final End Magnus must be the head of Malpercio. Judging by how the others were named, it must be called He.
Exactly. And the fifth End Magnus is buried somewhere in Alfard, Empire of the Flame.
There's no turning back now...Let us go...to Alfard!
Yeah, I second that. Giacomo must have returned to the Empire by now. Let's go, Legion...we'll take him out on his own turf!
KILL GIACOMO BLARGH
> Let's go to Alfard!
You be Legion, yes?
> No, I'm not.
Do you really think there's a traitor among us?
> No, I believe in everyone.
I bought this apple pie slice, and I got that new Deluxe Pastry. Who should get our Deluxe Foodstuffs? You can split them among the group or just vote for them all going to The Great Mizuti. Or someone else. You know. Whatever.
What's going to happen, the Great Mizuti not be sure...