Part 51: Chapter Thirty Eight: Fuck HighfortMusic: 27 Breath of Fire
: We dont have to go to Highland
: Sten, this is the fifth time youve mumbled something under your breath. Whats the problem?
: Oh, uh, nothing! Nothing at all!
Music: 11 Its 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 isnt 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 arent really much of a threat.
And heres the elusive Champion Slime I was talking about a few updates ago. They tend to run away on the first or second turn so its 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. Im fairly sure they dont 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 theres another place we can visit before then.
To the south lies a river that can be crossed via Tapetas frog form. Beneath it is a castle in the middle of the desert.
Music: 18 Silence of Sand
Huh. Its very crowded in here.
This place is the Thieves Tomb, and for now its completely blocked off. Well 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 its a good idea to make sure Sten is as armed and dangerous as he can be. Its 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 its 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
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
: Whats the matter, Sten? You seem pretty determined not to go. Is there something you arent telling us?
: We have to go in, Sten. We cant go on if we dont.
: Im afraid so.
: Huh. I was hoping Id 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.
: Youre back with us, Commander, and thats all that matters! Theyll give you a heros welcome
: Stop. Just stop, Gaine.
: Turvoe is the real hero of Gufheim.
: How is Turvoe doing these days anyhow? Knowing him, hes probably made General by now
: Come on in! Sir Turvoe would get a kick out of seeing you again!
: Im afraid I must decline. No good would come of it.
: You wont even come in to see the Princess?
: I I have no idea what youre insinuating !
: Oh, ho ho it seems Im in a bit of a predicament.
: We guessed that fairly early on in the conversation.
: That bad, huh?
: Im 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 whos talking
: Any friend of his is a friend of mine! Go on in! All of you!
With that, were free to wander around a bit. Sten is out of the party for the time being, and the Dragon Statue doesnt give the option to change party members. Without Sten we cant leave Highfort, which is why its 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 partys part.
With that said, Highfort isnt too bad as long as you know its coming and prepare for it accordingly. If you dont though, its a nightmare.
The next step is to go through this door. We could go down the stairs, but Sten just asks us if were done and the other soldiers down there dont 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 arent really worth exploring. Several bedrooms also split off from this room, but all of them are empty.
: Huh, I wonder whats 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 dont know nearly enough about whats 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. Well crush them with sheer numbers!
: Enough! Ill 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, theyre coming this way!
: Uh, okay, just walk forward quickly! Make it look like were here for a reason!
: Hmm? I dont 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 didnt 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 its going to be up to Sten to carry the day by himself! Its a good thing we levelled him up properly and didnt ditch him way back when!