Part 60: Episode LIV: Karsh and the Secret of the Isle of the Damned
So, now that we've murdered the shit out of the resident deity, all the residents of Marbule proceed to freak the fuck out and flee in terror of Lynx and his dragon slaying mob.
Well, let's take a break from dragon slaying and try out another sidequest. This next little side story stars Karsh. Yes, they found it appropriate to hand one of the few character specific sidequests to the guy whose entire character can be summed up as "brash soldier dude who uses an axe and has a Scottish blacksmith for a dad." Sure, why not?
We've got to bring Norris along to trick the Porre grunts into thinking we're here on official business. But, that's okay. Norris has business here as well.
If we head on over to where we initially found Another Norris he'll still be camped out there. He'll now offer up a present for his other worldly self.
And so Norris gains his Level 7 Tech. Unfortunately, he's not quite up to snuff in using it yet. But, a few more dragons and that ought to change.
Norris informs the party that Porre is planning on pulling out since shit is obviously kind of fucked over on El Nido and they've bit off a bit more than they can chew (or they're just remarkable wusses.) In any case, Another Norris bids a farewell salute and is never seen again.
For the entire game up until now, the right-hand entry in the main foyer of Viper Manor had been blocked by menacing machines. But, since Grobyc took care of Porre's mechanical guardian, the path is finally open to be explored.
This leads to the opposite, far less impressive tower of the eastern side of the manor. Nice work just mirroring the background art design guys.
In the as of yet unexplored tower is a Highlights for Kids caliber brain teaser involving four empty square slots in the ground and four snake statues with square bases. This sir, is no Spencer Estate.
Following that a treasure chest emerges from a trap door. There is a banner to the north of the room that states "Respect my behind". Apparently, the Acacia Dragoons don't have a Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Or...you have to open the chest from behind or a trap goes off.
There's a good reason why
we borrowed the contents.
If you want it back, come
to the Isle of the Damned,
and bring Sir Karsh!
So it would seem the Shaker Brothers have stolen some vague artifact of some unknown importance to Karsh that...for some reason...had its own entire tower as storage. Alright, then...
For the sidequest proper, we must now take a trip back to the Isle of the Damned and bring along Karsh for whatever silly antics await.
We'd previously only ventured here in Another World to grab a bag of bones to assemble Skelly. But, the area is completely identical to its Home World version in every way other than having far less enemies loitering about.
The only difference is the heart of the island is a cesspool of toxic, corrosive muck instead of an endless field of flowers. Also, Another World Radius apparently just ditched Garai in an unmarked grave on the side of the road and called it a day. In any case, the Shaker Brothers are the exact same place Garai's ghost was hanging out.
"Do you knowingly know why we are here...?"
"Yeah, Karsh. I'm gonna be verily very annoyed if we've been wasting our timely time."
"Hell NO! WHAT!? Am I supposed to...!?"
"Don't shake ignorance!"
"We came to investigate what happened here!!!"
"This is going to lead to something long and boring and not at all to do with me, isn't it...?"
"Sir Karsh! W-We have stood by your side, unable to shake loose this one suspicion we had..."
"We believe you may have killed Sir Dario!"
"What arr ya lookin' at me for? I can barely keep track o' me own kids."
"S-Sir Karsh... We are executing you for the murder of Sir Dario!"
"Hey... Why is everything getting all wavy...? Aww... Crap!!"
Time for a lengthy flashback sequence....
Music: Reminiscence ~ Feeling Not Erased
We now travel back to Termina circa some vague time over a decade before the events of the game. Said village has not changed an iota, including the cloud formations in the distance. Meh...effort...
A young Karsh, Glenn, and Dario are practicing stabbing one another in the face outside Zappa's blacksmith. Zappa himself is presumably in a drunken heap in the back. It's past noon, after all.
A young Riddel interrupts the boyish lust for violence. Since all three boys evidently want to rock her bones, they all immediately drop everything to to pay attention to the one with boobies. Curiously, they went to the effort of making a young alternate portrait for Dario, Glenn, and Karsh but couldn't be bothered to make one for Riddel too, despite the fact she gets most of the lines for this solitary scene they're used. I guess women aren't good enough to get redrawn portraits.
"Oh, really? What is it, what is it? Viper Churros?"
"Wrong answer, Glenn. Next?"
"Oooh... I know! Nunchucks! Hi-ya!"
"No, Glenn. Not that either."
"Uhhh... Viper Churros!"
"Glenn, you already said that...."
"It's a flashback and we're establishing me as childish in order to divorce me from the looming conflict of said sequence. Ergo redundancy in this instance would be an endearing trait to re-enforce my youthful disposition."
"Well, when you put it that way..."
"I know this because I am clearly the most mature and disciplined of the group and therefore the most likely to garner the favor of the girl in the story."
"Please don't make us hold our breath too long. You'll note my attentiveness to your forth coming gesture as opposed to Karsh's quiet awkwardness."
"Ah shoot, it's just a flower!"
"Miss Riddel, did you go to the valley by yourself...?"
"What, I'm not allowed to? It's just the valley, I'm sure it's safe enough."
While I am sure she is right, I still feel it pertinent to express my concern as the protective alpha male. Though, I shall do so in stoic silence for a moment as though to emphasis my deep thoughts of concern for her safety.
"Glenn doesn't want any, right?"
"If I plant its seeds, I might get some good fruit from it!"
"Oh, how silly of you, Glenn!"
"Alright, I think I've established the hell out of my little brother naivety here... Can I go back to hitting things with swords...?"
"Perhaps just a bit more. Then you're free to go."
"Here you go, Glenn. But I don't think it will grow any fruit, though."
"You don't know until you try!"
"Okay, I think that is enough."
"Karsh might not like things like flowers, but..."
Seriously, this is the only line Karsh gets in this portion and he has his own portrait.
Karsh takes his flower and silently walks off in deep thought while glaring at his gift.
"It is a 'bellflower.'"
"Miss Riddel, if you ever wish for this flower, I will go for you instead. If anything should happen to you..."
"Then let us go together. Does that sound like a good idea?"
No... No it does not. Not at ALL. NOT AT ALL YOU FUCKERS!!!!!
"Yes, very well."
We now jump ahead to roughly three years ago with the clan all grown up. Apparently, Karsh has been glaring at that flower for the better part of a decade.
"Huh...? Oh, sorry. So what is it? What's with the formality?"
"...U-Umm. How should I... Actually, I..."
"Why are ya acting so strange? Spit it out..."
"...A-Ay. To tell you the truth..."
"Karsh, we are pledged to marry. I have already told daddy about it..."
"Th-That is what I wanted to tell you... Will you bless us with your approval, Karsh?"
FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... FUCKER... I WILL END YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
"We haven't decided on a date yet."
NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER!!!
"We still need to finish surveying the Isle of the Damned, first. It's just that..."
"The place where we have cried together, laughed together, and shared our dreams...together."
You arrogant, square-jawed twat.
"Hey, then I'll have to fill this dull vacant lot with loads of bellflowers."
Or maybe poppies so you can fucking choke to death!
"Just tell me if I can help ya in any way."
Like nose-diving down a flight of stairs.
"...Thank you, Karsh."
Some time later...
Music: Island of the Dead
We rejoin Karsh and Dario accompanied by Solt and Peppor on the ill fated expedition to the Isle of the Damned some time later.
"Karsh, why are you in such a hurry? The enemy is not going anywhere, and the footing here is bad..."
"Why do you always have to be like that, Dario?"
Why can't you just slip and break your fat neck?!
"The Masamune may be in there! Any dragoon would be hyped to see that thing! You know!?"
Solt and Peppor are left behind to make the events more ambiguous as Dario and Karsh proceed further into the Isle's heart. Don't ask me how they're getting through the mirrors without Garai's Keepsake. It's best not to ask.
We're treated to a quick flash of Dario sailing off into darkness accompanied by the sound of a blade striking.
Some time later still...
"Was I really just possessed by that devilish sword...? Driven by such intense hatred and envy...? Maybe deep inside me, I was filled with hatred? Dario, the one whom I could never beat, no matter how much I tried...the one who stole Riddel's heart from me... What if that sword does not embed hatred into the mind of its wielder...but instead draws out and ignites the flames of hatred hidden within the hearts of men...? And if that hatred was something deep within the wielder to being with...?"
"Then what have I...?"
And we now return to our regularly scheduled program...
"Take it easy....! Why the hell do I have to fight you guys!?"
"Yeah... I mean, I didn't see the flashback or anything. Karsh just kind of zoned out for five minutes looking off into space. So I'm a bit lost here..."
"No time for questions!"
"Tch. What the hell?!"
Welp, time for the final and only non-tutorial clash with Solt and Peppor.
They've gotten slightly better with their cock stabbing abilities and...well...that's basically as that is to be said about it.
Oh, well I guess you can trap a couple of decent Yellow innate attacks from Peppor if you're into that kind of thing. But, they're basically just as much a pushover as ever.
A final ass kicking for Solt and Peppor later...
Karsh immediately learns his Level 7 Tech by beating the shit out of his bumbling sidekicks because... Err...
"I know the time will come when I can speak the truth. But I can't just yet... I hope you understand..."
"Sir Karsh! I have come to an understanding after that battle we just had... You are not an evil person. You would never kill your best friend! Please forgive us... Looking back now, you were one who took us under your wing, even though we were dragoon outcasts. You are very special to us, Sir Karsh!"
"Aww geez... Another sappy family moment... Sorta... Ugh... What's the tally now, anyway? I'll have to ask Harle. Huh... Where the hell did she get off to anyway? Haven't seen her in a while..."
<sob> We believe you, Sir Karsh! We must be on our way, but we hope to see you again, sometime, somewhere... When that time comes, we hope you will be readily ready to tell us what really happened!"
"A-And... We're sorry we took this from you. We're shaking it back to you."
This family really has a thing for gaudy trinkets, eh? We'll need this for the second leg of this plotline and a secondary sidequest. But that's a story for another day.
And that is basically the last we ever see of Solt and Peppor. You can safely ignore all that rubbish about Karsh eventually coming clean to them eventually. They're done for the duration of the game's plot.
Karsh Axiomatic Tech Demo
Dario Official Art - Knight McDashingpants
Solt and Peppor Official Art - Poor guys get a tiny thumbnail and that's it.