Part 11: Chapter XI: Asian SmartChapter XI: Asian Smart
After awhile, you sort of get into the rhythm of stomping gates and cities, and I run out of amusing ways of presenting them. Multiple gate protected cities usually mark the end of the saga.
"Go home and tell Liu Bei how terrible Xing Daorong is."
Screw planning, we got bows.
"To the battlefield! Destroy Liu Bei's army!"
Worst part is Xing Daorong had the nerve to participate in this battle after getting his ass utterly destroyed in the last fight.
This is how things are going to be for awhile, bows are THAT good.
"Peace has returned to Jingzhou."
Ah, another 8-bit city trick I see.
At least they're nice about hidden stuff in this game. In the sequel, almost every town has a hidden item, but where it is in the town is up to you to mash "search".
"Pang Tong? He went out with his soldiers."
We are denied Liu Bei, meaning we have to track him down before we can proceed with anything.
Before that is done though, Zhang Fei found it to be amusing to run around in circles in the area just past Lingling Castle (the castle we just took). Pang Tong, who was doing lord know what with his soldiers in the middle of the forest wasn't too amused, and attacked.
"You dare invade Jingzhou? Take this!"
Someone's behind in the times..
Despite the fact that he is alone, this can either be a hilarious fight, or he can be an ass and decide to take everything to hell in a hand basket, mainly because:
He can kill a man in one hit with Da Re, or if you're near water tiles (thus dancing in the forest and not a sexy splash loincloth party near the river), he can kill everything with Hong Shui. Did I mention he knows Wan Fu (100% healing for one person), and has an excellent chance of hitting things with tactics?
Luck really is central to this fight, and nothing else.
A lucky case is that he uses a confuse tactic which misses meaning he lost a turn. Once he makes his move, everyone hits him, which he doesn't last long at all.
"You fight to settle Jingzhou and restore peace here? Let me join you."
Pang Tong joined.
Meaning all his fun tactics? Yeah, ours now! This is a good thing because Dan Fu:
"Guan Yu. I received a letter from Xu Zhe's mother. Please see that he gets it.
Guan Yu got the letter.
"My mother is ill. I should return to the capital to take care of her."
"Of course. Leave immediately."
Anyway, here's a bit of history to compliment this event:
What actually happens is much darker. By now, Liu Bei is at war with Cao Cao for Jingzhou and Dan Fu is totally ruining Cao Cao's day. So Cao Cao kidnaps Dan Fu's mother, and forges a letter from her claiming that she is near death, which gets Dan Fu out of the picture, if you see where this is going. Anyway, Dan Fu's mom, who is actually the picture of health was so angry at her son for leaving Liu Bei, that she yells nonstop at him when he gets to Chang'an, and proceeds to hang herself, because she's that pissed. So next time when your mom tells you to clean your room, for her sake, you damn well better do it.
"I forgot to tell you something. If you go south from the cave I lived in, you'll find a bridge. Cross the bridge and go south to reach Zhuge Liang's inn. Shui Jing called him Fu Long. Make him your supporter."
He also goes by Kongming (the main name used in the book), and his Taoist name, Sleeping Dragon, if you're into names.
Something seems different.. Zhang Fei, did you get a haircut or something?
This is also the biggest backtrack mission in the game, but it's for a good cause. The first place we hit are the cabins where the brothers redirected us to the next cabin and so on.
"I know many forms of martial arts. My talents are at your disposal."
"Zhang Fei. You have done well. Real peace has finally come to the four counties of Jingzhou. Our work here is finished. By the way, I'm somewhat of a martial arts expert. If you'll have me, I'd like to join you.
Oh yeah, Pang Tong.
I take it everyone remembers who Cui Zhouping is?
Gullwings are fantastic here, otherwise, you'll have to walk all the way back to the beginning of the entire game.
And the EXP won't be an excuse to do so with enemies like these ones.
"You looking for Zhuge Liang? He was here, but he's already left."
Oh you, Capcom, and your quests.
While we're in the area:
"Zhang Fei, you would do well to support Liu Bei in his attack against the rebels."
Unfortunately father Saturn waits for no one, Mrs. Liu included, and her memory has gone a bit fuzzy in the time we've been gone. Luckily, she is still physically the picture of health and wards off the bandits with her mighty frying pan, wok, or whatever.
Because Tao Qian sure ain't doing anything about it while Liu Bei is busy.
And well.. the villagers are a lost cause (Song Ren)
That is the last time we see or hear from anyone from the beginning, it's onward we push, with or without Mrs. Liu
"Zhang Fei. My brother was just here, but he already went out again. If he comes back, I'll call on you at Nanyang Castle. Please wait there."
-At Nanyang Castle- (After calling Liu Bei to wait with us for seven and a half hours, because we're pricks like that)
"Zhang Fei. A young boy named Jin came here. He said his brother had returned so you should go to his home."
This bastard better be ready for a rude awakening, because chasing him around China is not a fun task at all.
Actually, the proper way of waking a genius is sitting there, staring at him for approximately seven seconds after selecting "no" until he awakes.
"...yawn... I'm sorry to keep you waiting. I heard your story from Xu Zhe. The problem is I have a brother, Jin, who I must look after. However, since you have called on me so many times and I support your ideas, I can't refuse you any longer. I will join you."
Zhuge Liang has joined the team!
"Zhang Fei. I'm going to go to Guiyang Castle to renew some acquaintances. I'll meet you there."
Capcom fetch quests.
"Zhang Fei. I'm glad you're back. Zhuge Liang has some information for you."
"Oh, you finally made it. Listen, on the way here, I ran into my friend, Zhang Song. He told me that in Shu the cities are being raided by rebels and the borders are threatened by the Han Zhong army. Since you are his relative, the governor, Liu Zheng, begs you to come to his aid. If you will go, I will accompany you."
And that pretty much is reason enough to raid Shu, because:
To hell with the strongest warlord in China, Kongming's the smartest man in China! He'll be on tactical duty forever, no matter how much y'all oppose me with that, as I like to play it safe/boring.
And so ends our epic sidequest to wake Kongming up, we can finally tread into new territory.
But an old friend decides to meet us in the forest.
Who is this friend? Read on.