Part 88: All-seeing Eye (Otohime)
Well then, this is where we left off last time. So, we might as well take the plunge, it's not like that there is much else to do (well there is loads of sidequests of course--some extremely interesting ones too--but most of those are beyond our level for the moment--fear not, we'll get back to that, I do intend to show pretty much everything there is in this game as much as I can).
Also, as an additional note, there's going the be a whole lotta plot dumping in this part--basically if you thought that last part was heavy with exposition, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Here we are then. Looks a bit familiar...
Ok, so, as mentioned, there is a particular way that we'll have to use to progress. The game does explain it to you at this point (and I will do so in a moment), but first let's have a look at the ma...
All right, I am exaggerating a bit here. It's not as complicated as it looks, it really isn't. Basically, as was already said, there are three paths through this area. Left path will be taken by Li Hua and Orlando; middle by Darwin and Marie and right path by Araki and Conor. There are barriers in the path that can be removed by reaching certain objects--the objects that unlock the barriers are typically located on a different path from where the barrier is. We can also, at certain points of the map (the rooms marked with circles) switch to a different path.
So essentially what are going to do is to keep progress forward with all three pairs of character, but because of the barriers, we have to keep switching back and forth between them so they can unlock the paths for each other.
Oh, and also there are bosses to fight at certain locations. Yeah.
That's all there is to this, even if looks hugely complicated, once you start playing, it really is not.
Japanese version actually calls this area "Heavenly eye" instead of "All-seeing eye", interestingly.
We start on the middle path, with Darwin and Marie. Let's investigate to the left first.
We're going to be seeing lot's of these circular rooms.
In the middle is actually one of those circles that allows us to switch to a different pair of characters. But we're not going to do that just yet.
These rooms have a couple of exits that lead to different places.
That particular exit leads to a pallete-swapped library room. Let's get to reading I suppose.
THE RITE OF RESEALING
The Rite is enacted to bring about a new Reckoning. Neron plays the part of potential Destroyer of the world. The Rite produces a new Testament of Sacrifice to be told to all by the saviour, chosen by the Creator to be His emissary to mankind.
This setup has been selected after attempting a variety of different formats for ending the world.
PLAYING OUT OF THE RITE OF RESEALING
Cause natural disasters around the world and bring forth Apostles. Once a third of the world's population has been purged, summon a Nominator and appropriate companions to serve as Pillars
Release the Four Horsemen. Have the Nominator and his or her Pillars fend off the Horsemen as part of their trials and thus strengthen the bonds between them.
Loosen the seals which hold Neron bound and have him consume a city of man. Make the Nominator and Pillars aware of the threat that Neron poses and incite them to choose to offer a sacrifice of their own will.
Carry out the resealing of Neron using the Final Sealing. At that time overwrite the consciousness of the Nominator to resurrect him or her as the true saviour.
Dispatch the Four Horsemen to Earth and have them cleans the planet of the human stain. Using a set of trials, enacted by the Herald of the Creator, the survivors will the winnowed down to only those worthy of the Creator's love. The saviour will appear before these survivors to spread faith and belief in the Creator.
So this seems to be a bit more elaboration on what we already heard from Lessica last time. Basically this whole Rite of Resealing thing is pretty much fake and the real purpose of everything is totally different.
If we go back and run to the other side...
More reading material, looks like. Well, let's get to it.
THE SCIENCE OF SOPIA
Sopia: the pattern on which life is moulded. In the parlance of men, the Sopia could be best described as the soul. In the world of the Creator, all life is built upon these Sopia.
Sopia Cores: physical manifestations of Sopia. Sopia Cores posses the power to warp dimensions, linking different points in space. It is also possible to use Sopia Cores as tools to summon forth high-level powers.
Catalysts for transferring Neron's power to the Nominator. Raw materials for human Sopia Cores. After being transformed, the Pillars reside with Neron. Their powers will be used during the final Sealing to form a dimensional cage in which to bind Neron.
The forms taken by the Sopia of the Pillars, living manifestations of Neron's power. It appears that their forms are based upon myths and legends that have taken root in Pillars' hearts. Ophanim are the living form of the Sopia. Their formerly human bodies were linked to Neron by becoming Sopia Cores, and the Ophanim draw great power from this link.
THE PEDESTAL OF SEALING
The path through which Neron's power is drawn. Possesses the ability to force a part of Neron to take physical form.
1. Inflict a wound upon the body of a Pillar and force a part of Neron to manifest in the physical world to restore it.
2. After confirming that the Pillar has become an Ophan, induce the Ophan to attack the Nominator.
3. Make the Nominator recipient of the Pillar's Sopia by having him or her defeat the Ophan.
4. Transform the Pillar's physical body into a Sopia Core. Move this to be housed together with Neron.
So this set seems to explain some of the game mechanics that we've encountered. You may wonder, why all of this is so meticulously documented. We'll find out shortly, in fact.
Finally going through this door...
...we encounter a thing.
We can activate the thing...
Looks like it removes a crimson barrier somewhere else on the map.
Now we'll backtrack to that party-switching circle, and change over to Li Hua and Darwin.
Apart from libraries, we can also find the palette-swapped version of this other room, but it just has an item chest containing a consumable. So nothing special.
On the other side is, yes, another library. You know the drill. This one is extremely long, but also extremely interesting.
RECORDS OF THE NOMINATOR
THE 8TH NOMINATOR: ESCHER
Summoned as the Nominator of the 8th Rite. Completed the Rite.
THE 111TH NOMINATOR: HEIKE
Born into the world as the third son of the Batos family in Cetrea. Lost family and became a slave at age 13 when neighbouring nation of Célestin invaded. Forced to do hard labour, but found time to study the sword in secret. Summoned as the Nominator of the 111th Rite. Completed the Rite.
THE 692ND NOMINATOR: JEANNE
Born into the world in Chinon and abandoned by mother. Adopted by the Gran family. Qualified as a physician at tender age of 15 due to superior cognitive capabilities. Appointed as royal physician the following year. Summoned as the Nominator of the 692nd Rite. Completed the Rite.
THE 1584TH NOMINATOR: DENIS
Born into the world as the second son of the Tanacio family in Lugos. Left his wealthy familial home at a young age to become a builder's apprentice. After striking out on own as a builder, wed Sonyo. Had first child that same year, named Adona. Summoned as the Nominator of the 1584th Rite. Completed the Rite.
THE 1685TH NOMINATOR: DARWIN
Born into the world as the first son of the Allecker family in Ornia. Bereaved of his parents at age 5 and given into the care of an orphanage. Fled. Began living alone from that point forward. Met Candidates Orlando and Marie at age 7 after the death of their parents and began living with them. His independent sword study let him to become youngest-ever champion of the Ornian swordfighting tournament and member of the Ornian Guard. Summoned to serve as a Pillar in the 1685th Rite, but upon death of the intended Nominator, appointed as the replacement Nominator.
AMON AND NERON
Amon and Neron both require others to be aware of them in order to continue existing. They exist only because they exist in the minds of others. The belief of others in their existence is what brings gods into being.
Consciousness, expression, words... Every act that makes their presences known serves in turn as fuel for their very existence.
Even this record will server to solidify their presence in this world.
This is why I have been ordered to record everything.
Humans have been researched and analysed to determine how to best gain their faith and their prayers.
Human beings are life forms with strong and free wills of their own. We have determined that they are aware of and comprehend death, and that they fear death above all other things.
Death. It is the ending of life.
They seek knowledge in order to avoid that end.
They seek to control life in order to control that end.
They seek a god because they fear that end. That end is the font of all human existence, and the inescapable rule under which it must live.
Salvation in the face of death. We have concluded that this is the best method to employ in order to gain the faith of humanity.
In accordance with this conclusion, we create texts that foretell of a coming end. We write that only those who rely on the Creator will be saved when the end times come. We call this a Reckoning, and it serves as a holy text for humanity.
We have also determined that it is difficult for humans to maintain dedication to a god which gives out blessings while asking nothing in return. Thus the humans must pay for their salvation.
It was decided to add the story of a great sacrifice to a god in the creation of every new Reckoning. Information from the previous world would be used in this effort.
A duel to the death to leave behind only the best genes.
That ancient ritual remains only in memory, serving as the basis upon which the Rite was devised to create each new Reckoning.
CREATIONS OF AMON
THE HERALD OF GOOD TIDINGS
Envoy of the Creator. Made to be Amon's most powerful servant. The one who blows the horn. The one who investigates. After the Rite of Resealing, the Herald sounds forth from the heavens the tones of good tidings and subjects the people of earth to seven trials.
THE SPEAR WIELDER
The lesser of Amon's creations. Assists in smooth completion of the Rite of Resealing. Upon the Final Sealing, plunges the spear into the Nominator to initiate the system.
Once-normal creatures living upon the earth, transformed physically by accepting the Creator into their bodies. Made to serve as an advance force during the Rite of Resealing, they attack humans as part of this role. When they received the Creator's powers, their former Sopia powers were increased manifold. By defeating these Apostles, the nominator can receive these Sopia. Thus they server as fuel for the Nominator's own power.
Wow, that is whole lot to ponder about there. I do like how they do try to cover all game mechanics with in-world explanations, and these ones are in particular very interesting. And was that a reference to the first game hidden there? In any case, time for some more action, so let's get out of here.
Over here, we can see an item chest... but no apparent way to get to it. So we'll have to leave this for now and come back to it later if possible. Let's keep going then.
Finally, a staircase. Wonder what's at the top.
Oh, it's... actually, it's not Firedrake, just his colour-swapped cousin! In any case, the first boss of this area.
Name is Otohime, so as you might expect the boss starts out as water elemental.
Therefore the wind spells will be effective against him.
We can also steal an item... with a fairly obvious purpose.
There is literally nothing else to this fight, just spam magic until he is defeated. He does not have any special or noteworthy attacks, really.
So, another barrier removed.
That's it for now, we'll continue our progress through the dungeon next time. Will there be even more plot dumps? Who knows!