The Let's Play Archive

Breath of Fire II

by Scintilla

Part 51: Chapter Thirty Eight: Fuck Highfort

Music: 27 – Breath of Fire

: We don’t have to go to Highland…

: Sten, this is the fifth time you’ve mumbled something under your breath. What’s the problem?

: Oh, uh, nothing! Nothing at all!


Music: 11 – It’s a Whale

To get to Highland, simply warp to Township and head straight down via the whale.

Eventually the party will reach this small outcropping of land. This is our next destination.

You can enter the hut, but the guy in there has nothing interesting to say. Oh, but there are new enemy encounters to take stock of.

Music: 17 – Dying Corpse

Hey, what do you know, the battle theme has changed. Personally I prefer the first one, but Dying Corpse isn’t a bad tune by any means.

The Bomb Seeds are accompanied by a new enemy – the Dynafang. Dynafangs are physical attackers who can also cast Jolt, but only have enough AP to do so once. They have around 300 HP but other than that they aren’t really much of a threat.

And here’s the elusive Champion Slime I was talking about a few updates ago. They tend to run away on the first or second turn so it’s important to kill them ASAP.

Basilisks are fast and deal around 30 damage with their physical attacks. They also have Combo Attack, so their actual damage output is around 60 damage. I’m fairly sure they don’t have any other tricks.

The northern path is blocked by impassable mountains, so our only choice is to head east.

The next step is to hop up onto the plateau, but there’s another place we can visit before then.

To the south lies a river that can be crossed via Tapeta’s frog form. Beneath it is a castle in the middle of the desert.

Music: 18 – Silence of Sand

Huh. It’s very crowded in here.

This place is the Thieves Tomb, and for now it’s completely blocked off. We’ll be coming back here later in the game, though, so remember this place until then.

Anyhow, Tapeta vaults over the plateau and heads east towards the fortress of Highfort.

Before we enter it’s a good idea to make sure Sten is as armed and dangerous as he can be. It’s also a good idea to bring along plenty of healing supplies, since shops will not be available for the majority of the next plotline.

: So this is Highfort, huh? It looks pretty impregnable.

: Naturally! The fort is an engineering miracle, constructed to withstand any kind of siege or assault. And it’s built on a tiered plateau that makes it hard for invaders to push forward without becoming bogged down by chokepoints.

: Monsieur Sten, you seem rather knowledgeable about this place! Are you, perhaps, a scholar of military matters?

: Uh…um…well, I suppose you could say that…

Music: Wanderer

Okay. *Cracks Knuckles* Lets do this.

: Well, Ryu…welcome to Highland, my old home town.

: Wait, this place is your home?

:…In a manner of speaking, I suppose. Hey…

:…What’s the matter, Sten? You seem pretty determined not to go. Is there something you aren’t telling us?


: We have to go in, Sten. We can’t go on if we don’t.

: I’m afraid so.

:…Huh. I was hoping I’d never have to come back here again…

Music: 12 – The Kingdom

: Halt! Who goes there?

: Oh non…

: Well, we tried! Guess we better just-

: Oh my God!

:…‘Commander’ Sten?

: B-but…Commander Sten…After Gufheim, we all thought…

: Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated. For better or for worse…

: I get the impression that there is a great deal of information we are missing here.

: Yeah, no kidding. Most notably, the fact that Sten is apparently a freaking military commander.

: You’re back with us, Commander, and that’s all that matters! They’ll give you a hero’s welcome…

: Stop. Just stop, Gaine.

: Turvoe is the real hero of Gufheim.

:…How is Turvoe doing these days anyhow? Knowing him, he’s probably made General by now…

: Er…

: Come on in! Sir Turvoe would get a kick out of seeing you again!

: I’m afraid I must decline. No good would come of it.

: You won’t even come in to see the Princess?

: I…I have no idea what you’re insinuating…!

: Oh, ho ho…it seems I’m in a bit of a predicament.

: We guessed that fairly early on in the conversation.

:…That bad, huh?

: I’m afraid so…

:…I see. Well, you do what you have to do, Sten.

: Much obliged. Now, time to get to work…

: It looks like Sten is caught up in something complicated.

: To be fair, when is he not?

: Oui, he seems the sort to get himself into trouble often…

: Look who’s talking…

: Any friend of his is a friend of mine! Go on in! All of you!

With that, we’re free to wander around a bit. Sten is out of the party for the time being, and the Dragon Statue doesn’t give the option to change party members. Without Sten we can’t leave Highfort, which is why it’s a good idea to make a backup save before coming in. Highfort itself is something of a roadblock for a number of reasons. Lots of players find it to be a big stumbling block and it seems to be one of the main reasons why the last Breath of Fire II LP failed. It contains a long and irritating dungeon, two gimmick boss fights and some contrived stupidity on the party’s part.

With that said, Highfort isn’t too bad as long as you know its coming and prepare for it accordingly. If you don’t though, it’s a nightmare.

The next step is to go through this door. We could go down the stairs, but Sten just asks us if we’re done and the other soldiers down there don’t have anything interesting to say.

: That must take a lot of effort.

The two staircases to the left and right lead back to one another, so they aren’t really worth exploring. Several bedrooms also split off from this room, but all of them are empty.

: Huh, I wonder what’s in here…

: Strategy meeting, huh? Sounds important.

: Perhaps there is some sort of conflict going on. It would explain why this fortress seems so empty.

: We don’t know nearly enough about what’s going on here. I reckon we should sneak in and find out more.

Music: The Demon

: Status report, Commander!

: Unacceptable! A single delay at this stage jeopardises our entire strategy! Bring in reinforcements from one of our other units. We’ll crush them with sheer numbers!

: Enough! I’ll have no more excuses from you fools! We will execute our strategy according to schedule, even if I have to use your worthless skulls for sling stones!

: Your duty is to follow my orders, nothing more and nothing less! And if you will not carry out that duty, then I will be forced to ‘reassign’ you all to the dungeons! Do I make myself clear?

: The funding you risked your lives to secure has gone to a worthy cause…to the glory of our great nation!

: The greatest weapon of war ever devised will soon be complete…and then we can say goodbye to living as mere mercenaries. The entire world will be in our hands!

: Ryu, they’re coming this way!

: Uh, okay, just walk forward quickly! Make it look like we’re here for a reason!

: Hmm? I don’t remember inviting you to this meeting…

: This meeting is for authorized personnel only. As in, people I have authorized to attend.

: Oh bollocks.

: They probably didn’t hear or understand anything worth worrying about, but one can never be too cautious…

Oh no! Our brave heroes have fallen victim to the biggest menace in videogame history – cutscene incompetence! Looks like it’s going to be up to Sten to carry the day by himself! It’s a good thing we levelled him up properly and didn’t ditch him way back when!