Part 5: Freedom in Death
We obtained finally the second ring, one for Musiea. It would appear the now we need to go into an arena and fight Olgar and Vahti to the death. This does not sound too good, especially since they seem to know quite a bit more than they are saying...
So... the main hall once again.
Before we talk to other people, let's get Piu-Piu out of the way.
And that means, you have to prepare yourselves for whatever consequences that may bring.
I'll be honest; I like you guys. So go out there and win.
If you're not confident in your chances, just go back to the dungeons and toughen yourselves up.
Yeah, we're doing fine, no need to grind at this time.
And of course, you can always buy more equipment from me.
This, we WILL do, however.
Skill's not enough to get you through a fight like this; you need lots of luck as well.
But if you've worked even one iota higher than your opponent, that'll make lady of Luck that more likely to smile on ya.
I'm usually all happy and cheery, but these battles even get me down.
I don't want any of you to lose... It cuts my customer base in half!
In any case, as before, we can now get a better weapon for Escher.
The kind of unusual name of this weapon prompted me to check the Japanese version of the game... and sure enough there was a surprise waiting. If you switch to Japanese, this sword is called: 百人斬り (hyakunin giri) which basically means "to kill a hundred people". I was wondering where this kind of name comes from and it turns out, this is based on an event that may have happened during Japanese occupation of China in 1937 (accounts differ on whether anything actually happened and if so what). You can read a more detailed article about this on Wikipedia. This makes it pretty clear why the name was changed in other languages.
And a new rapier for Musiea.
Also, clothes upgrade for Escher.
We are however not buying the clothes for Musiea because the ones we found in the dungeon are still better!
As always, a couple of upgraded gems.
Ok, now back to the serious business.
It makes me think that my entire life... has just been leading up to this moment.
I guess when it comes down to it, we're all stuck in the same boat.
Is fighting and killing all you can do?
...I'm sorry, but...
Soon I will see for myself whether or not what I saw in that battle had value...
Now we have to fight Ayuta...
And as much as I hate to do it, I'll never be able to beat him if I'm not ready.
Until we find another way out of here, I will just have to get over it and do what I must to survive.
I can't afford to die now!
As I see it, Ayuta and Eluca are about evenly matched. You and Mana will be the keys to getting through this.
Can you handle that, Zhamo?
It's my destiny to become the king of our land.
So if this is a trial I must overcome... in order to become a king capable of bearing the fate of his people...
Then I will rise up to meet it!
So much for that.
As usual, we find Ayuta and Mana on the other side...
Mana... I don't want you to die. And I know Ayuta feels the same way.
So please... Don't just give up without a fight. Even if this whole thing is ridiculous, you can't give up and die without even trying...
Musiea... I just want to live... And go back to my country...
I wish I didn't have to fight Zhamo. But, I must keep princess Mana safe... no matter who my opponent may be.
The same goes for you Escher. I will fight to the death to protect her.
I'd watch who you say that to if I were you. I don't see myself losing to a mere stablehand.
And if I were you, I'd wait to defeat Olgar before saying things like that.
Oh ho! You want to settle this now? Fine. You'll make a good warm-up.
Stop it, Escher! Have you lost your mind!? This is neither the time nor the place!
(Before coming here, I had never so much as held a sword.)
(And yet, my body moves on its own, as if it already knows what to do.)
(It's like I've been fighting my whole life...)
(What am I anyway?)
(No, this isn't the time for that. Right now, all I can do is focus on the battle at hand!)
And finally, we go and have a chat with our upcoming opponents, Olgar and Vahti:
The... second time?
But everyone who loses in the Ark Arena is killed, right? Which would mean...
Yes. We are the victors of the last tournament.
That would mean that... you are already immortal!
Then, there's no way we can win against them!
Don't get scared.
If they really can't die, we just have to cut them up in little pieces.
It'll be a sight to see if I cut your head off and you are still alive.
But deep down, he was a good, kind boy.
Huh? What the hell are you talking about? You can't be more than 10 years older than me!
Are you treating me like a kid?
No. You just reminded me of one of my own.
Oh. Okay. So what is he doing now?
So long ago, I can barely remember when.
Olgar has really taken a liking to you two.
Escher, Musiea, I promise you, there is light to be found even in the heart of the battle.
That was... somehow strangely optimistic in the end.
There is nowhere else to go...
♫ Music: Ark Arena ♫
The music theme for this part is pretty awesome, you should definitely check it out!
And we find ourselves in yet another strange places. What are those blue things behind, I wonder? Still, we have a conversation to finish...
A foolish reason.
What about you?
I have people waiting for me.
I take care of war orphans. So I can't let myself die here.
You will never defeat us with motives like that.
And why's that?
...Have you ever thought why this tournament is being held?
What do you mean?
Who is making us fight? And for what reason?
...I don't know. And as long as I win, I don't care.
I have been thinking about that constantly since we won the last Ark Arena.
And today I may have found an answer.
An answer? Really.
Time to fight I guess. But everything seems somehow off and strange.
If you thought that the fight will somehow be avoided, unfortunately that is not the case. We actually have to fight them for real. But no worries, purely from the gameplay side, this is actually not hard as you'll see.
I like to open with a pair attack. We'll focus on Vahti first as she has less HP.
She casts a fire spell...
And what's this? She just healed for exactly the amount we damaged her for!
No matter, let's retaliate with a counter-spell.
And again she heals for exactly the amount of damage she took! Well, of course... she's immortal, isn't she.
We are not doing any damage because we are not working together. Why don't we try attacking them simultaneously?
Me? Work together with you...?
We don't have time for that now! Either we work together, or we both die here!
Fine, I'll give it a shot.
Again this annoying battle/plot discrepancy where you are doing one thing in battle where the plot requires something else--obviously I have been doing pair attacks since the beginning of the battle and it made no difference until now when the game tells you it will make a difference. Ah, well.
Anyway, we attack again, and...
And from here on, you can simply go all out.
After a few turns, Vahti is KOd.
Now we can focus on Olgar. Physical attacks such as Trompe l'il are perfectly fine here.
A few turns more and... victory?
...Would you like to know what exactly happened in the last tournament?
Nah, that's ok. If we really needed to know, you would have already told us.
You can't be serious with this!
Heh. I see...
...Perhaps, you two... are the ones... who can change our fate.
I don't want to keep living if it means I have to take someone else's life...!
Don't you dare say that!
There is no greater dishonor you could do to Olgar and Vahti's memory.
As a result of the battle we learn Olgar and Vahti's special abilities.
Out of these, probably the most useful is "Critical First Attack". It ensures that our first attack in any one fight is always going to be a critical--doing up to 2x more damage than usual. This a passive, always-on skill. Bind is like Silence in Final Fantasy and it has too low hit rate to be really useful. Magic Block is the equivalent of Escher's Physical Block skill and is a passive skill that sometimes randomly blocks a magic spell attack; this is also useful since you don't have to cast it. Obviously the first two skills are for Escher and the last two for Musiea.
And so here we are once again.
Appendix: A comment was made about the game proceeding faster than expected through the plot. Well. In fact there is a screen where you can see the current completion percentage. I have so far avoided showing that screen as it's kinda spoilery. But I can at least show you the number, percent of game content that we have completed so far after defeating Olgar and Vahti:
So. In fact the reality is quite the opposite of what was assumed above. The plot is proceeding at a fairly slow pace and I wouldn't mind if it was moving a bit quicker! Not only that, but as a matter of fact the maximum completion percentage you can achieve at the end is MORE THAN 100%!!