Part 3: Episode III: In Which We Discover Why All the Knights Hate NoweEpisode III: In Which We Discover Why All the Knights Hate Nowe
Verse 3: The Dragon
"We'll send out the knights. I want two squads to advance. Eris, you choose which units to take."
"Nowe! Scout ahead of the forces as usual. Try to get rid of as many of those beasts as you can before our army arrives."
"And do try to keep that lizard upwind of our forces, this time."
And so Eris leads her two squadrons of knights to help smash the assault on the District. They...never really explain how the hell Eris got to be so important so as to be General Gismor's Number Two. Perhaps she possesses exceptional hair grooming techniques that are of great tactical use to the good general. That or given what incompetent chucklefucks the Union mostly employed in the original game, a semi-competent and obedient teenager is probably head and shoulders above the usual crop of crap.
In any case, our hero, Nowe, is busy wi-did you steal some of Eris' eye shadow?! Goddammit, kid!
Since Nowe is a big dramatic twat, he's busy striking a pose atop the castle. He was apparently too busy standing around thinking he looks cool all day to remember to pack his sword for the trip to the District. Good job!
Meanwhile, far off in the distance a dark, phallic shadow approaches the Knights of the Seal...
Or it's just the blue dragon Legna, Nowe's pal, here to pick up his lazy ass son for the newest mission. Huh... Legna? What kind of name is that for a dragon? Hmm... Well, if we turn it around we get... "Angel". This would be the Drag-on Dragoon version of Angelus' name. I guess naming the dragon Sulegna would have been silly. Hmm... Drag-on Dragoon 2 also has the subtitle "Sealed Red, Corrupt Black". I wonder what ever did happen to Inuart's black dragon. Or Inuart, for that matter. They just kind of ran off with Furiae's dead ass in the Ending A path, never to be seen again. Oh well, I'm sure none of that will ever come up again.
Oh yeah, by the way nice work having your dragon dad scare the piss out of all your comrades' horses. Real classy, Nowe. It's a total wonder why people are picking fights with you in the tutorial halls.
As the blue dragon approaches, Nowe leaps from the top of the castle to make a very impre-
...Oh dear. Welp, maybe that Caim fellow is having a better time adventuring. Let's go check on him, shall we...?
Or maybe Legna makes an entirely unsafe and utterly unnecessary daring aerial maneuver to catch Nowe in mid-air without splattering the jackass all over his back. I don't know, Nowe. Maybe next time you could just go wait over in a field and not risk a dragon slamming into your home base, probably scaring the hell out of half the occupants of the castle in the process. There was a war just less than twenty years ago where an evil empire killed thousands with dragons. It might still make people a wee bit skittish still. Just a thought.
Nowe completes his very impressive stunt that nobody but himself could see by doing an "I'm the King of the World" pose while Legna soars through the air.
Down below, Eris looks on totally wet for Nowe, despite the fact one of the knights under her command just broke his neck from falling off his horse due to that startling rendezvous. Little does she know, as the token childhood friend she is doomed to be cast aside by the hero as soon as the first mysterious girl wanders across his path.
Music: Plains of Pity
"Too many to count, Legna. I grew up riding you like this. Your wings have always protected me.
"Yes. It has become my duty in life, to protect you. Nothing will stop you, as long as we are together."
"What if we come across another dragoon in a battle?"
"My boy, it's been a long time since I've seen such a sight."
"And how did that go...?"
"Well... That is...ancient history... No need to worry yourself with such nonsense. Focus your eyes on the sky."
"You are special, Nowe. You must be strong and brave."
"...Alright, let's go!"
"Hold on tight, my boy. I'd hate to waste time picking you up if you fall."
So, Legna and his relationship with Nowe is a bit different than Caim and Red. Where those two had a rather antagonistic beginning before eventually warming up to one another and becoming best buds, Legna starts off as a kindly old grandpa sort and is totally supportive of our dumbass anime hero. I kind of think Legna picked the wrong pony for this race. But, what are ya gonna do?
Right, then. Time for the first Aerial Mission of the game. Drakengard 2, like its predecessor, is divided into Ground Missions and Aerial Missions. While the ground missions combat of this sequel has been improved to the point of being...okay I guess. The Aerial Missions have...basically been unchanged. You see this prompt above there?
Yeah, that's basically the only improvement with the aerial combat. Instead of the quick dashes Red pulled off (and thus had to be spammed constantly to move), Legna can just haul ass across the map at mach speed. But, other than being much more agile, it's basically the same exact, rather dull grind of the first game's Panzer Dragoon knock-off gameplay.
Legna has two standard attacks. A homing fireball that can lock onto up to four targets (with more becoming available as the dragon levels up.) And a more powerful, but non-homing fire and forget shot. For the most part, the former gets far more use in battle.
Most of the old rogue's gallery of standard enemies from Drakengard makes a return in this new game. Giant bats, griffons, and weird laser firing floating boxes all get some more work this time around. Bats just fly around and shoot
A slightly modified feature of Drakengard 2 is the magic attacks. In the first game, a magic meter was charged with each kill and a super magic attack could be unleashed by Angelus when it filled. Legna, on the other hand, must collect a "Breath Sphere" which randomly spawns by enemies destroyed from dummy-fire fireballs.
Collecting one of these will allow Legna to unleash a massively, powerful homing attack that pretty much wrecks the shit of everything in the area fairly well. As Legna levels, he'll be able to stock more than one Breath Sphere. But...that's basically all there is to aerial combat.
"Let's go, before your comrades perish!"
"Let's find a place to land."
Legna has already gotten more notches in his belt (REAL ones, mind you) than Nowe has in two stages. Your dragon dad is making you look bad, kid.
Verse 3 - The Quota
"Nowe, you have been hanging about that exposition spewing whelp of a priest far too much."
"Look! I've never seen the monsters gather in such numbers. But why?"
"Who knows? But they seem drawn to the districts. Maybe they want something here..."
"It is difficult to say. However, I know of one thing we can certainly deliver to them. A warm welcome, one could say..."
<sigh> "Just hang on tight, my boy..."
Like the first game, Nowe can ride around on his dragon and immolate enemies from the air. Legna has the advantage of being able to slow down to a crawl for precise roasting of enemies. The poor little goblins that were stupid enough to try invading the District just run around in terror as our heroes burn them alive.
A new feature of this game is the "Mission Gauge". There's a several prompt explanation of this bar on the left hand side of the screen's functionality. But I can sum it up by just modifying the name slightly:
When this bar appears, Nowe and his allies must meet a certain quota of slaughter before the next stage of the mission will progress. Remember, the Knights of the Seal were set up by Hierarch Verdelet from Drakengard. Verdelet was...what's the word I am looking for...? Ah yes...
An incredible racist that utterly despised
Several dozen non-human vermin cleansed from these pure lands later...
Another slight improvement to Drakengard 2 is that allied forces actually...ya know...exist on the battlefield. They're about as useful as an asshole on my elbow in a battle. But, it is at least a bit of a step-up from having Caim fight the entire Empire by himself while other soldiers of the Union put on a radio drama over the intercom and pretended to help in a fight.
Now there is a second big reason why the Knights of the Seal severely dislike Nowe, outside of his flamboyant displays of "HEY GUYS I GOT'S ME A DRAGON!" That would be that Legna was nice enough to turn friendly fire off in battles.
But Nowe can still be a dick and direct him to lob fireballs at his allies. They won't take any damage...ya know, as far as their health meter goes. They'll just shriek in agony as they go flying dozens of feet through the air before landing on their heads. Hey, no harm no foul!
Several dozen more dead goblins later...
Eventually, Legna gets fed up with doing all the heavy lifting with his son's part-time job and ditches him in order to go burninate some bats. Like the first game, Nowe can mount and dismount the dragon in outdoor battlefields at will. Provided there is not some contrived reason as to why that ability has been disabled and Legna is busy, like the one just presented.
I suppose I might as well explain ground combat while I'm in the area. As previous stated, combos are handy things and should be used as often as possible. In the bottom right hand corner, you'll notice a pair of numbers. The larger digits to the bottom of the screen is the total kills tallied for a mission. The upper number is the current chain combo. If at all possible, you want to keep the chain going. A high chain means more goodies! What are goodies, you ask?
We'll scoot back to the tutorial for one screen. Goodies come in three varieties. There are Green Orbs (HP Refill), Red Orbs (MP Refill) and Coins (Money...oh dear.) Every...I believe multiple of 25 in a chain, a goodie usually drops for Nowe to pick up. Hence why you want to keep the chain climbing. Using magic or Legna will not increase the kill chain.
Nowe has a couple of new moves that Caim did not possess. There is an upward slash, which will knock enemies off their feet. It's pretty useless. There's also a powerful downward strike like Nier possessed. That is slightly more useful. And...well, that's about it for the moment. There will be a bit more later.
The Grand Wheel from Drakengard also returns. You probably don't remember it because...well, there was seldom need to switch weapons all that often and I doubt I ever mentioned it past the first time I explained it. But, the Grand Wheel lets Nowe switch weapons out at will. Right now, he only has his default sword. So it's a bit useless at the moment. But later on, it will gain several new functions.
This time around, Nowe can also pack healing potions and powders to restore HP and MP. Up to six different items can be stocked for each battle. Early in the game, it's best to use these whenever you need 'em. The Knights of the Seal will restock any used goods at the end of a mission. Pretty handy.
Here are a beefy goblin's assless chaps. I have no other comment.
Reaching the entrance to the "District of Shining Life" will signal the end of the mission. What a fruity title. The other three district's titles (or guardians) are not much better...
Legna chimes in to say he's pissing off for the early part of the next mission, so don't look for him. We're still sort of in tutorial land, so this won't happen too many times after this.
Some time later...
"It took a bit longer than usual to get here on horseback. Over several mountains. To make no mention of the time spent calming down said horses to continue onward due to...unforeseen aerial spectacles."
"Hey, Eris. There's nothing of your to do. I've already cleared away all the monsters."
"The mission isn't finished yet. But, I'm glad to see you're safe."
"Say, where are the advanced squadron sent on ahead to meet up with you?"
<shrug> "I've been waiting here for you for like half an hour."
And that's it for Verse 3. Nowe, your dragon dad is kicking your ass sideways with the kill count. Step up your game, son!
To conclude this mission, we gain spear wielding knight Eris as the newest member of our party and her spear added to our armory. Uhh...spiffy, I guess!
"How goes the defense of the District of Shining Life? Have we routed the monster army?"
"The former Hierarch, who perished in that attack three years ago, and I have sin-"
"I know of your predecessor."
"Yes...of course. As I was saying, his teachings were very clear that, and I quote, 'The heretical subhuman scum must be purified with fire and wiped from these holy districts. Let not one of their wretched claws or hooves set foot upon the blessed land of the seals lest doom and death befall us all!' Well, to paraphrase the quote. The doom part went on for quite a while there after."
"Knight Eris is leading two squadrons to eliminate the threat. Nowe, the 'savior,' has also flown to the area."
"The District of Shining Life is currently without a guardian lieutenant. Its defenses are weak. Should anything happen to the key..."
<twitch> "You do know of whom you are speaking to at the moment? I am well aware of the status of the Districts..."
"Do not worry, my lord. I swear as a Knight of the Seal that the invasion will be repelled."
"Maybe your future, whelp."
"Hmm...? Did you say something...?"
"Nothing at all, Hierarch. Nothing at all..."
"Oh...alright then. Well, dismissed."
Legna Introduction FMV
Verse 2 & 3 Cutscenes
Legna Artwork - Why ya feelin' so blue?