Part 46: Chapter XLV: Endings And Beginnings
Oh this looks uncomfortably familiar.
: "Yep...it's where we came looking for Elina before...doesn't look exactly like the headquarters for the Imperial Army, does it?...Wait!"
SURPRISE RANDOM ENCOUNTER! This is a new enemy, the Warlok. It can use a move called Dark Breath to heal the undead, but otherwise it's pretty flimsy.
The hell's it doing here, though?
: "Well...I guess we've got no choice but to go on..."
This does not bode well.
This, by the way, is just around the corner from where we met Yuna the first time. The soldiers all talk about how monsters overran their men and tore them apart.
This is a weird design aesthetic for a basement.
Oh my God what
: "It's all his fault! It's all because of Yuna and his cursed hex experiments!"
I KNEW that douchebag had something to do with this.
Near the creepy pulsating heart thing, we find Bill Murray in a chest. Wait, no.
It's a new weapon for Ershin, though it's pretty underwhelming compared to the Atomic Punch. It does clean house down here, though, as almost all the enemies are zombies or evil.
Let's continue on. Surely nothing horrifying lies in wait in the next scr-
JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH WHAT THE FUCK
: "What...what IS this!? It looks like some kind of...of organ..."
Oh God this place is audibly PULSATING and SQUISHING oh God
Wonderful, disembodied intestines are covering the way across. We give it a whack with Ryu's sword, but nothing happens.
Wait a second...
: "Elina! Hold on! We'll be right there! What should we do? How can we get to you!?"
: "You cannot cut that with a normal blade. It can only be severed with the Dragonslayer."
: "But...where can we find that?"
: "The courtier named Yuna holds it. You must find him."
: "All right then...we'll find this Dragonslayer, Elina - I promise!"
Nina collapses into Cray's arms as the ghostly image of Elina fades.
: "Cray! Elina...! She...she..."
: "I know. Still, all we can do now is find this Yuna, and get the Dragonslayer from him. Come on, let's not waste any time!"
Time to get a horrible sword made from the severed head of a god from Yuna. Preferably by beating the shit out of him.
Seriously, the fuck IS this thing!? Did he craft some Lovecraftian prison just to stick Elina in for shits and giggles? The fuck is WRONG with this guy!?
We get the fuck out of this horrible place and ask a guard for directions.
: "He was scheduled to have returned from the capital by now, but with all that's going on, he may have been delayed somewhere...I know I shouldn't talk this way, but Lord Yuna really gives me the creeps. I mean, he's always going around doing these weird rituals and stuff."
And MAKING GIANT MONSTERS FROM BLOATED ALIEN ORGANS.
So, if he's held up somewhere, it's probably at a place where he can stay safe. Therefore, the checkpoint at Kwanso is the first place to look.
: "C-captain! Lord Yuna, Minister of Thaumaturgy, is here, ma'am!"
: "Very good. Now, open the gate."
Oh you're in for a beating the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be told of for CENTURIES I tell you.
: "Well! If it isn't those Easterners again!"
: "You dirty...! You're the one who kidnapped Elina, aren't you!?"
: "Elina? You saw that then, did you?"
: "We want my sister...we want Elina back!"
: "Lord Yuna. We need the Dragonslayer in order to enter that building."
: "Well! And you are...let's see...Captain...Ursula, isn't it? I see. You went looking for the dragon, and not only did you find him, but your path joined with his."
Ryu and Cray advance on Yuna menacingly.
: "Calm yourselves! I am a scholar and a pacifist! I have no intention of fighting you."
: "If that's true, give us the Dragonslayer."
: "Well! Let's see...where did I put that..."
Ryu slashes Yuna, who drops the Dragonslayer at his feet.
: "No violence! Remember, I'm a man of the arts! Ha ha...ha ha ha."
With that, Yuna teleports away. Cheating bastard.
Oh HELL yes. I could get used to having a sword like this. It's even got a hidden +1 Attack.
: "We've got to get back to Astana as fast as we can! We've got to get Elina out of there!"
THE RYU CREW TO THE RESCUE!
JESUS CHRIST WE'RE IN SILENT HILL.
: "The feeling of evil is stronger here...!"
The Imperial Headquarters is now home to the creepiest music in the whole game. Seriously, it sounds like Akira Yamaoka made it.
Oh yeah, all the soldiers in the building? They're dead now.
The place is now crawling with powerful enemies, too. Gongers attack the weakest party member and use Timed Blow to inflict massive amounts of damage while denying you EXP.
God, this place is even creepier now.
An upgraded Armor that hits very, very hard and takes hits like a brick wall.
This crab, as you can gather from my party, can utterly wreck your shit. Salt Claws are undead, but don't take damage from healing magic, have almost all their attacks deal critical damage, and are the only enemy in the game that I'm aware of that you can learn Reversal from. Reversal deals more damage when the user's HP is low, and these things are built like tanks. Thankfully, they only appear in this screen.
Let's go save Elina.
The rest of this update is available in video.
We slice the rubbery intestinal...thing...in half, which makes the entire organic mass shudder and groan.
Eyes do not belong there. Wherever that is.
Oh yeah, the intestine regenerates as we climb up the spine-looking thing. Blerghh.
Somehow, this quiet tableau is almost as creepy as the giant organs.
Let's keep on going and
: "As I've told you before, Elina is no longer here. However, what she left behind is here in this room."
: "Where is General Rhun?"
: "Ah, Captain Ursula. I'm afraid you just missed him. The General has left for the capital."
: "What? Why?"
: "I'm afraid the General and others like him would not be able to appreciate what I'm trying to do..."
: "I don't care about the General or what he thinks!! What did you mean when you said Elina isn't here!?"
: "Now now...I have no intention of fighting with you. Why don't you go see for yourself?"
Yuna strolls off around a corner and disappears. Cheating. Bastard.
Something I skipped in the video: behind the house is a very nice piece of armor.
This fits pretty well, I'd think.
And now, for the moment we've all been waiting for.
: "Elina! You don't know how glad I am to see you!"
: "Come on, Elina - we can all go home together now."
: "Thank you for coming for me, Cray...Nina...but...I'm afraid I can't leave here..."
: "Why not!? The capital's been attacked - the Empire is distracted! We could get away before anyone noticed!"
: "She's right. Let's go, Elina. We'll protect you - I swear it!"
: "The world is changing...I can feel it...and you, Cray, and Nina and the rest...you're all caught up on the path that is causing that change. You're part of it."
: "You must continue your journey...you are needed in a certain place, at a certain time...you must be there!"
: "Nina...could you leave us alone for a moment? Thank you. Oh, and Ryu? Would you mind leaving the Dragonslayer here?"
This sounds like a spectacularly bad idea. My horrible doppelganger boss fight senses are tingling.
But of course, we do it anyway.
: "Thank you."
And so we leave Cray alone in the room with her. Surely this will end well.
: "How did Elina know your name, Ryu?"
: "Deis is telling me something..."
: "She has the same kind of aura as the dragons,"
: "she says."
: "Cray...I've already told you how you're part of the great change that's coming...how you're caught up in a powerful stream carrying you along. One of the streams that is moving the world is Ryu...but there's another stream...the other Endless. When these two streams meet, then you shall learn the true meaning of your journey."
Cray: "What do you mean, Elina? How can you know these things? And why can't you leave here?"
: "Cray...It's because...because I'm..."
: "Transformed...? What are you talking about!?"
: "Allow me to explain. At first, I had considered using Princess Elina as a sacrifice for the Carronade."
: "A sacrifice!?"
: "Yes...as I'm sure you're aware, the stronger a connection the sacrifice has to the target area, the more potent the hex becomes. Given her popularity among the people of Levant, Elina was the best choice to use as a sacrifice. However, we have always had problems when preparing a sacrifice. A hex is formed from the negative thoughts and emotions of the sacrifice. In order to produce these feelings, we must properly condition the sacrifice. We torture the sacrifice in the most painful ways possible. However, all too often, the sacrifice dies as a result of the conditioning. So, I had an idea...what if we gave the sacrifice a body that could withstand any amount of suffering, no matter how great? And so, I gave her a new body...an immortal body!"
: "And so, Elina became engaged to marry the Prince of Ludia. Of course, if Cray had stopped them, by now...Cray's been in there a long time...what could they be talking about that's taking so long?"
Cray backs into the table behind him, knocking the vase to the floor, where it shatters.
: "Well! What do you think? I took parts from various creatures and merged them using ancient rituals and spells. Unfortunately, her body became more powerful than I expected, and grew at a phenomenal rate. You recalled the organs you passed through as you came here? Those are hers...her body has become part of this structure. She can withstand any amount of pain and not die. She is the ultimate sacrifice...she is Endless now. In other words...I have created a god!"
: "You...you...maniac! Monster! I'll kill you with my bare hands!!"
DO IT. DOOO IIIIT.
: "Me...I can create gods! You can't kill me! I have a destiny! I shall use my knowledge to change the world!"
With that, Yuna teleports away. Guess what? This is the last time we see him before the final cutscene.
MOTHER. FUCKING. CHEATING. BASTARD.
: "Cray...Cray...it's too late for me."
If you listen to one song in this entire LP, make it this one.
: "Elina...I...I'm sorry...if I'd only gotten here sooner...I..."
: "Cray...I had Ryu leave the Dragonslayer here for a reason."
: "Please, Cray...don't let me suffer any more."
: "I...I can't do it! Elina...I...I love you, Elina!"
: "I know. That's why I'm asking you, Cray. You're the only one I can ask to do this. I'm happy knowing that your face is the last I'll see."
There's a horrible groan as the hut shakes, and then all is still.
So, let's recap.
Yuna abducts Elina from a goodwill mission and sticks her in his lab where he grafts monster parts to her (provided by unwitting people from all over the Empire) while essentially raping her soul until she becomes immortal, a mockery of the gods, specifically so he can inflict an infinite amount of torture on her to fuel the Carronade for eternity. He picked her specifically because everybody loved her so much, because that would make his plan of committing genocide on the entire Eastern continent easier and it would make them suffer just that much more. He does all of this with a quiet smile and claims of pacifism, and expects to be praised when he reveals this plan to Cray. He seems confused when Cray tries to murder him, and simply teleports away, leaving him to mercy kill the person he loved most. Not only that, he engineered the Emperor's death to take over the throne and likely would have committed genocide on any opposition with his infinite black magic nukes. This is all in addition to God knows how many people he warped with hexes to create all those monsters in the Imperial Headquarters, the fact that he created the Carronade, was essentially responsible for driving Fou-Lu insane, and honest to God does not seem to realize he's a complete monster.
You know something? I think Fou-Lu's got a point.