Part 65: Episode LIX: Riddel and the Forbidden Island
Well, this whole dragon business is going fairly smoothly. Four down and just two to go, by my count. Unfortunately, the last two are a bit tricky. Our former savior the Sky Dragon is probably the hardest of the bunch to defeat, but she is readily available at least. Meanwhile, the Green Dragon is hanging out in the currently seemingly inaccessible Gaea's Navel and is a pretty big bitch to get access to at the moment.
What we're going to do instead is tackle one last side quest back in Home World. You see that tiny island the raft is near, just off the coast of the central island? Of course, you cannot see it in a screenshot, but there is a teeny-tiny itty-bitty little plume of smoke occasionally rising from this island.
And that is the only solitary indication you can actually land the boat here. This is apparently the "Forbidden Island" of El Nido. It is given this name due to...err... Well, they never really explain that one.
It's actually quite the peaceful little place, home to only a small, moss covered cabin. We could actually visit this place at any time in either dimension. In Another World this is where Solt and Peppor hang out after our final meeting with them with Karsh. But, in Home World the cabin is locked tight.
That is...until we complete Karsh's sidequest to the Isle of the Damned... The house's lock is open now and we can just waltz right in to find...
Dario just chilling out inside. Huh, fancy that.
"DARIO! Is it really you!? What the...!? So you're actually alive in this world!"
"Wait... *this* is Dario...?"
"It sure is! Huh. Howabout that!"
"Huh... I was expecting... I dunno. Someone a bit more impressive looking."
"Junior, you're looking at the top Acacia Dragoon Deva!"
"Well, yeah. I'm sure he's a badass and all. It's just...well, his dad was like ten feet tall. Glenn is kind of a runt. I figured his brother probably got all of the huge ogre dude genes."
"YOU ARE ALIVE!"
"Yeah, Zoah. I think that's been established."
"MY EYES WERE HAVING DIFFICULTY ADJUSTING TO THE CONTRAST IN LIGHT."
"So Mr. Salonhair going 'oh man it's Dario' didn't tip you off?"
"DARIO IS A FAIRLY COMMON NAME. I DID NOT KNOW IT WAS THE DARIO."[/b]
"Zoah, when have we *ever* come across two different people with the same name?"
"You just can't let the Norris thing go, can you? What now?! Do you want us to dye this Dario's hair red so he can be Ginger Dario? No Zoah... Just no! That is stupid!"
"BUT I DID NOT-"
"Zoah, this discussion is closed!"
"Cut the crap, Dario! Of course we know!"
"Welp, that's another one crossed off the cliché list..."
"HUH? DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO YOU ARE?"
A woman, presumably the owner of the property we're trespassing upon, enters the cabin...
"Every day was a battle between life and death, but miraculously, he made it. However, this man has no recollection of his past whatsoever..."
"So, did you ever like think to...I dunno... Go ask around if anyone knew who he was?"
"I don't follow."
"Well...I mean, four years is a *long* time to have some guy with amnesia sitting around in your cabin in the woods. I mean...the biggest town in the region is like a half hour away. He's decked out in full Acacia Dragoon armor... I mean...I think you'd look into that kinda thing... Hell, I think you could friggin' *see* Viper Manor from here before it burned down."
"Well, he seemed happy enough and it does get very lonely out here so..."
"THIS IS TERRIBLE..."
"Forgive me... I just cannot remember."
"Damn...! What can we do?"
"Well, getting him out of the creepy cabin in the woods might be a start. No offense, lady."
"Hey! What if we bring Lady Riddel here? He might remember then!"
"I know I technically couldn't see that flashback before, but this seems wildly out of character right here."
"Bros before hoes, junior."
A while later, returning with Riddel...
"Psst... Alternate dimensions..."
"But of course you are. This is another world. You are alive and well in this world!"
"You seem to know me quite well."
"Yes, Dario. You do not remember me? I may be the Riddel from another world, but every day, I have always..."
"You know, when you trail off like that when talking about a daily occurrence with about a guy that's not around, you're just opening yourself up to all kinds of dirty thoughts."
"And yet you do not remember who I am?"
"I have a feeling I have lost someone very dear to me..."
"If only there was something to reawaken your memory... Yes, I know."
"Should I go put on a Barry White CD and leave you two alone?"
"I meant this pendant."
"Hey, how'd you get that thing?"
"Anyone has access to the inventory. Didn't you know that?"
"Wait, I didn't know that. Is *that* why that Medical Book was all sticky last time I was sorting through things!? Oh gawd!"
Music: Reminiscence ~ Feelings Not Erased
"...and a gift you gave me when we got engaged."
"Try to remember! We have been together since we were little. And will continue to be..."
Stupid stupid stupid! Why did I think this was a good idea?!
"Hey, folks. What did I miss?"
"The hell are you doing here, gramps?"
"Ah. I was just in the neighborhood."
"But we are...on an island. And I've got the only boat docked here."
"Look, if there's exposition to be done then I just sort of find myself ending up where it takes place. It's been like that ever since that fateful day with Garai and that accursed sword. Speaking of which..."
The music abruptly stops...
Dario begins freaking the fuck out, as those amnesia stricken folks just love to do when regaining memories.
"Th-This is bad!"
"That...disembodied voice sounded kinda familiar..."
"W-What...? What's wrong?"
"No! Don't touch him!"
Dario's caretaker gets the shit blasted out of her for her trouble. Looks like four years of the world's most passive care have come to bite her in the ass. I mean sheesh, she never even bothered to change the guy's clothes in nearly half a decade.
The Masamune warps into the room above Dario and slams itself into the floor. I guess it wasn't quite as exploded as previously thought to be.
"Dario! No, Dario! Do not touch that sword!"
"Hey, you guys are in my way. If you move, I'll just punch him in the teeth and we can avoid this? No? Just gonna stand around slack jawed...?"
"I hate my life..."
"I knew it! The Masamune never actually disappeared from Death Gate. It just returned to its rightful owner."
"Old man, shut the hell up! You *so* did not 'know' that until you saw what just happened. Don't even try to pull the crap."
"Well, I had my suspicions."
"Wait a minute! Then that means Dario's still..."
"What really happened!? I thought Dario died fighting demons on the Isle of the Damned!?"
"Uhh...think you could just hold up for a few minutes, bro?"
"Blood... darkness... come unto me! I will show you the greatest nightmare!"
One more final flashback to four years ago...
Music: Island of the Dead
"Step aside, sidekick. I'm the one turning evil in this flashback."
"Then, won't that make that introspective post-killing monologue I had into a nonsensical, ham-fisted, completely inaccurate red herring?"
"Like I care."
"Dario, what do you think you're doing?!"
"Death to all living creatures!!!"
"Don't tell me it's that sword...!? Dario, let go!!!"
Welp, Dario is now immediately evil and apparently possessed by his ghost dad on top of everything. Pretty raw deal if you ask me.
Karsh and Dario have a very awkward looking axe vs. demonic sword battle. You can check it out at the end of the update. It looks like two puppets flailing about.
The fight goes on for a bit, ending with Karsh down on his ass. Dario stops just short of finally giving that purple hair a good cutting.
"Do it, Karsh!!! Or else, I'll...!"
"No, Dario! I can't!"
It has to look like an accident. This won't do at all!
"Please snap out of it, Dario!!!"
"You cannot beat me... You are but a mere mortal..."
"First, I will dispose of you, and then..."
"Riddel... I shall let the Masamune sate itself on Riddel's blood... Heh-heh-heh...! HAH-HAH-HAH...!"
Threatening harm on Karsh's crush is instant grounds for him flipping the fuck out and ruining Dario's shit. And...that's what really happened on the Isle of the Damned... Dario turned evil from the cursed sword, threatened to murder the ruler of El Nido's daughter, and was killed in self-defense. That...really wasn't a story that needed to be covered up so much, Karsh...
"What have I done...?"
Lynx strolls up to the distraught Karsh...
"Are you going to tell everyone about what you just did? Are you willing to tell Riddel that YOU murdered Dario because he was possessed by the Evil Sword...?"
"That...sounds more reasonable than I slacked off and let him get devoured by monsters..."
"What if I were to tell everyone YOU had a crush on Dario and you didn't want Riddel to have him? So you murdered him out of jealousy."
"What...?! No... You've got it backwards!"
"Do I...? What would the tabloids prefer to hear? Tragic loss of the heroic Dario due to an accident or a scandalous sexual degenerate's jealous treachery? Who will they believe?"
And so we learn how the Masamune made it to Death's Gate in the first place: Lynx is a dick. Good thing Dario dropped the thing when Karsh sent him flying into the stratosphere or this would have all just been a silly mess.
Karsh vs. Dario: Round 1