Part 41: Chapter XL: Return Of The King God-Emperor
And here we are, at the heart of the Imperial Castle. Note the chest. Do not open it. Ryu is going to need it way, way more when he gets here.
Let's head across the bridge.
This combat is over in a single round.
The sounds of a massacre echo through the halls as the screen transitions.
Has an awesome hat.
Awww God. Yuna walks onscreen and kneels before the Emperor.
: "It...it would appear that something is happening...would it not, Yuna?"
: "It would indeed, Highness. I shall go investigate the disturbance myself."
: "Yuna! Are you certain we need not surround our self with guards? We are concerned for our safety!"
: "Well, Highness...I'm afraid all the guards in the world wouldn't make much difference should the God Emperor appear."
Yuna hands Soniel a sword and bows once more.
: "Do not worry, Highness. Why, between your power and that of the Dragonslayer, I am sure even the God Emperor cannot stand before you long. Besides, I, ever your faithful and devoted servant, will lay down my life to protect you by confining the Emperor Fou-Lu in a web of magic. Please, Highness, let your heart be at ease!"
That's funny, my bullshit detector just exploded. I'm sure it's nothing.
: "Very well. We are counting on you, Yuna."
A soldier is hurled across the screen too fast to actually capture with my crappy reflexes, soaring past Yuna as he emerges from the darkness.
: "Allow me to congratulate you on your triumphant return, Your Majesty. I..."
: "Begone! Thou art of no concern to us. Our business be with thy master."
: "Well! I'm afraid I can't let you through, Majesty."
: "Do not worry - we will merely seal off your power and return you to your place of rest."
This combat takes two rounds to beat. One turn to transform into Tyrant to break their barrier, and one turn to Dark Blast them into chunky salsa.
: "It would appear that here, in this castle you built, your powers have fully returned. Well then, far be it from me to stand in your way, Majesty."
With that, the weaselly fuck teleports away before Fou-Lu can reach him.
Home again, home again. Time to kick out the squatter.
: "Thou hast not fulfilled the promise."
: "M...Majesty, how can you say that!? Of course we have not forgotten! Now that you have returned, why, the Empire is yours! I would never think of..."
: "Enough. Thine prattle tires us. Begone with thee."
Fou-Lu pushes past Soniel...
: "Wah ha ha ha! This is Dragonslayer! I did it! I killed a god!
Fou-Lu smears the blood onto his hand, staring at it as if he doesn't quite understand.
: "Ha ha ha ha ha! What of your promise now!? It is old and meaningless...just like you! All this belongs to me now!!"
In the English version, the scene cuts to black here, leaving Soniel's fate a mystery - one that can easily be inferred, mind, but a mystery nonetheless.
In the ORIGINAL version, though...things suddenly get far more metal. Pardon the low quality as this is ripped from someone else's YouTube video. Polsy has provided me with a video of the scene here, from a Japanese LP of the game.
Fou-Lu rips the sword out of his body...
There's a flash of light...
Dragonslayer bounces down the steps as Fou-Lu walks up the stairs toward the throne, staggering every few paces.
Lord Douchebag, meanwhile, looks on with glee.
He picks up Dragonslayer and says something. While I don't know exactly what, the manga makes it clear he orchestrated this for two reasons: one, to test Dragonslayer and see how good it is at its job (answer: not very, against Fou-Lu), and two, to get Soniel murdered and weaken Fou-Lu at the same time so he could swoop in, kill Fou-Lu later, take the throne, and become Emperor.
Also, now that Dragonslayer's been introduced, I can tell you a bit of -inducing backstory involving Yuna that's only in the artbook. You see, Dragonslayer's name in the Japanese version is roughly translated to God-Iron Sword. It was actually the first god summoned by the Empire, and they botched it even harder than Deis and Fou-Lu's summonings. You see, all they got was his screaming, undying severed head. Yuna dissected it and studied it (while it was constantly screaming), and once he learned all he could, he smashed it into pieces and used them to forge Dragonslayer. The worst part? It's still alive. The sword itself is insane from agony and hate, and still wants to have its full body, so it tries to suck out the souls of any gods it wounds.
And even that wasn't enough to kill Fou-Lu.
: "Ryu...? Looks like you've got one!"
: "Did you fall asleep?"
I bring you some of the most pointless mood whiplash in the entire game, and it's fucking stupid.
: "Ryu...I don't know if I've told you this before......but...I...I think I'm in love with Cray..."
: "But I know he doesn't feel the same way about me...I mean, ever since we were kids, he and Elina have been really close...I always figured they would get married someday. He's been like a brother to me...I think maybe I look up to him more than love him. I mean, he's strong...there's nothing he can't do...he's funny...but now that we've been traveling together for so long, I realized something. He gets confused, angry, hurt...just like me..."
: "Well, maybe we should be getting back..."
Through Nina's entire monologue Ryu was pointedly ignoring her and trying to fish. I think that sums up all of our reactions.
Oh yeah, to top off this shit sandwich of a section, we have to walk back to camp and save our game instead of resting automatically to advance the plot.
: "Let's go see!"
By that she means we have to walk two more screens on our own. But we're almost free!
: "This means we can get to the mainland!"
: "Right. Let's go!"
I will not be visiting that ? to the north for some time, because I thought that was the fishing spot and simply ran the hell away. However, what I forgot is that that ? holds one of the best things in the game, and the fishing spot requires you to go back to Saldine and walk all the way to its screen. Hate.
Let's just stop by this village.
Most people here are obsessed with becoming merchants because of a traveling merchant who stopped by here. There's a small inn and a shop with some really good upgrades.
If I remember correctly, this will be Nina's weapon for the rest of the game, or at least a huge part of it.
This guy says this no matter how much money you have. We'll see what he's selling next update.
So, Shan River to the south of the village is yet another piece of shit gameplay padding dungeon.
These assholes counter-attack with Jolt if you hit them with wind or water attacks. The mushrooms are Sporeons and auto-counter with Confusion if you hit them.
The main gimmick of the area is the gondolas. Press a switch to make them come to you.
Another thing is that logs float down the river, and if they hit the gondola you fall off. If you hop onto the logs, however, they float you downstream to tasty items. Which make you have to do the gondola stuff again.
Their description says it all, honestly.
This is the only item really worth mentioning around here.
Next time: the most inexcusable filler in the entire game, cringe-inducing racism (they had to shoehorn it in somewhere), and the weirdest dragon.