Part 25: Chapter XXV: The Update Everyone Who Has Played This Game Has Been Waiting ForWith the magic of a shitload of conversation transcription I've managed to fit two of the best parts of the game in one big update, so hold on to your butts, folks, things are about to get interesting.
First off, the question of that the hell is up with this town. Our answer is "Well, we're not all kids, you know!"
I've never found any NPC who's given me a better answer so
Also this kid is selling some great equipment so be sure to check him out.
Out around the area in areas we can't reach are those sheepdog cow things you sometimes see in hunts. Nice little detail. Let's go chat with the leader here, the Abbess. She's the only old person here.
: "Which god has guided your path to our humble village?"
: "The Wind Dragon said that we should come here."
: "P'ung Ryong told you to come here? That would mean you must be from Wyndia, yes? I'm sorry, my eyesight isn't what it used to be. Oh, I can see you just fine...I just can't tell what you look like, that's all. I know that might not make much sense, so I'll try to explain it."
: "Those attuned to it can see it. To us, it looks like a pillar of shining light.
Hey, it's that pillar thing from the Act intro screens!
: "Each person's light is different...its color, size, the way it glows...all these depend on the person."
Cray is either green apple or watermelon flavored. I hope it's watermelon, I hate green apple.
: "This pillar is each person's life stream, the path their life will take - their lifeforce itself. When people come together, their streams intermingle, join together, and that in turn creates another new stream."
: "Now, the stream of one of The Endless is very large, very powerful...so powerful, it can affect the stream of the world itself."
: "Any stream that gets close to such a large and powerful stream gets caught up in it, affected by it, changing its original direction."
: "The largest of these streams, the ones that can affect all the others, these are what we call gods."
And thus we have an explanation as to why our group keeps attracting people to travel with us. Scias may have been touched by Nina's altruism, but the pull of Ryu's stream probably sealed the deal subconsciously. Cray and Nina decided to let him tag along instead of just dumping him in a town somewhere. Ershin is following him for her own inscrutable reasons. It's all very KotOR 2.
: "What we want to know is, what should we do now?"
: "Well...I think perhaps that once you understand where the gods...where the dragons came from, and their place in the world, that question will answer itself. For now, however you should rest. You must be tired from your long journey. We will talk again later."
We awaken in the house alone, and head outside.
Truth and Dreams plays here, a remix of Endings and Beginnings, which is the game's main theme that plays quite often in one form or another. Truth and Dreams is played in most of the dream-like sequences and is one of my favorite songs in the game because of how ethereally pretty it is.
: "I didn't want the others to hear me, so I had them sleep. Here, in your dreams, we can talk openly. I know what you are. You can't hide it from me - I know you are one of the Endless. The real question is, who are you and where did you come from? For centuries, we here in this village have summoned gods...summoned The Endless to this world. P'ung Ryong, the Wind Dragon, Ni Ryong, the Mud Dragon, Sa Ryong, the Sand Dragon...it was we who brought them here. But you...you are different. You were not summoned by us. What are you? Who brought you here?"
SUDDENLY, ERSHIN TIME
She leaps down and bounces on her feet back and forth.
: "You...are you also one of the Endless?"
: "No. Ershin is Ershin."
: "I can sense your aura - it is a god's, but it's weak...like it's being dampened somehow. Are you sealed within that armor?"
: "Yes. That is why Ershin says to let her out right now."
: "Ha ha ha ha ha!"
: "Bwa ha ha ha ha!"
: "...It would appear I laughed at an inappropriate time."
All together now: OH SNAP!
The next morning...
: "You mean you're going to trade Ryu to get Elina back!?"
: "All I mean is, we got people talking about gods and changing the world and stuff...it's too big for me to understand! For any of us! And it's not like we can all stay together forever, right? What were you thinking?"
: "Well, I was thinking that since Ryu has no place to go...once we found my sister, maybe we could take him back with us..."
Ryu walks out and Nina notices him.
: "G-good morning, Ryu..."
: "That old woman said we should go see her once you woke up. Well, you're up, so let's get going."
We head up to a corner of the town walls.
: "It would appear you all have a stronger connection to The Endless than you believed. Ershin here has something in common with Ryu..they're both one of The Endless."
: "You mean...Ershin is also a...a god?"
: "I've never seen anything like this myself. That's why I want to release Ershin. Maybe then we can learn about what's occured."
: "Release...? You mean Ershin's trapped inside that armor?"
: "It would appear to be so. At least, that's what she says."
: "Will you help me free her, Ryu? Place your hands on Ershin...close your eyes..."
And thus it's Psychonauts time.
: "You are now inside Ershin's mind. If you want to come back to the waking world, just come back and enter the light. The real Ershin, the one that's been locked inside the armor, should be somewhere in the heart of the dream world you're in now. If you can find her, you should be able to free her. Good luck!"
Ershin's mind is a big white haze with a maze of these stone platforms, it's quite a dull place. Truth and Dreams plays here too.
Oh yeah, the place is infested with the undead for some reason.
Be very glad these guys don't have the AP to use their moves. You can give them some to try to learn one of their moves, but they'll probably just kill you horribly and there's a safer way to get it.
This raises the wearer's resistance to water. It'll be handy in a little bit.
So here's the last screen in Ershin's mind, which starts with a long series of jumps over an abyss. It'd be scarier if we could fall.
Here, there's a large spinning floating mountain thing. Hit the white crystal to lower it slightly and make it stop moving so you can jump on a path, then you can climb to the top.
What's up top you ask?
: "I'd really appreciate it if you could get me out of here."
: "Um...Are you Ershin...?"
: "Who else do you think it could be!? Of course I am! Now get rid of those pillars and get me out of here!"
Okay! Let me just walk over to them and-
Boss Video XI: The Pillars
Well, with that done...
...the seals are broken.
: "I thought I'd never get out of there!"
: "There's still one little problem, though...you see, I don't have a body. That means I can't leave here. That's why I want you to find me a medium who can loan me a body, OK? Don't worry--this is where they summon gods and whatnot! There's bound to be lots of mediums around! Oh, and...try to find me a good-looking one, OK?"
So, now we've met what's really in Ershin's head: a hot chick with ridiculously long hair in a slinky dress. I'm surprisingly okay with this. To avoid confusion with the shared name for the next update or two, this is Deis. Yes, that Deis, AKA Bleu, the one character who's in every Breath of Fire game (even V, if you count the developers wanting to have Lin revealed to be Deis at some point). Whether this is the SAME Deis or someone similar with the same name is another part of the continuity clusterfuck.
Fun fact: in the Japanese version, Ershin's name is Masuta. This, rather obviously, is a bilingual pun on Master, meaning that the twist is foreshadowed rather blatantly if you speak both languages. In this one, the pun is actually still there, after a fashion. Ershin means Two Souls in Chinese.
So, we run back to the entrance.
Well, I suppose she'd be considered good-looking in Japan
: "Rhem is the strongest medium in the village."
: "Hello. The Abbess has told me what's happened. I'll help you as best as I can."
: "All right, then. Rhem, sit down in front of Ershin. You should make contact with the Endless any moment...!"
The following animation is both awesome and too long for a .gif.
Ershin's theme starts playing again.
: "I was hoping for a better body than this. Oh well, I guess it will have to do."
: "Rhem...Or rather, Ershin... Can you tell us about you, and about Ryu? What are the two of you doing together?"
: "Hey, wait just a minute! I've been cooped up in that armor forever! I'd like to relax for a while, OK? How about giving me some food and drink? Is this any way to treat such an important guest? Where are your manners?"
Speaking of food and drink...
: "I'll bring ye o'er some food in jus' a second."
Fou-Lu looks around at all the smoke.
: "Me oven ain't it used to be, I'm afraid!"
Meanwhile, a bird alights on Ershin's empty frame.
: "It's like Ershin is a completely different person outside the armor."
: "Well, can you blame her? I mean, being stuck in that armor for so long..."
: "I wonder if Ershin has finished eating yet. We should go check and see."
To the Abbess's!
: "...Look, you wanted to talk to a god, right? If you ask me, this comes with the territory. Every god needs an offering or two, right? BURRRP!"
: "Very well, then...now, will you tell us about Ryu and Ershin?"
: "All right...Ryu and I are not human. We are Endless. Now, who here knows what that means? How about you, little birdie? Do you know?"
: "Um...well...that means you were summoned here...and you're what other people call dragons, or gods...right?"
: "Well I'll be! You do know! Not bad, my little chickadee. We are called...summoned from other worlds...and brought here. But do you know why we are called? Imagine the world as a giant ship. What happens to the ship if there's no wind, little kitty?"
: "Um...The ship can't move?"
: "Very good. Maybe there's hope for you yet. Anyway, we're like that wind - we move the world. ...Now, imagine what you could do if you could control that wind as you pleased, hmm?"
: "That's why we have kept this village's location and what we know a secret...were the ability to summon The Endless fall into the wrong hands, it would be disastrous. Whoever can control the dragons can control the world. Which is why I need to know - who betrayed our secret!? Who summoned the two of you!?"
: "The Empire knows the Spell of Evocation!?"
: "Not exactly...the Empire has come up with its own method of summoning. That's how Ryu and I got here. But it's not perfect. They brought us here, but we were incomplete. I wasn't able to manifest completely, and got stuck in that armor. As for Ryu...he was split into two by his summoning."
THIS VIDEO IS REQUIRED VIEWING
For those unable to watch, there is a screenshot summary next update.