Part 5: Episode IV: In Which We Meet a Silly Bunch of PeopleEpisode IV: In Which We Meet a Silly Bunch of People
Verse 4: The District - Music: Plains of Pity
"Understood. Tell General Gismor that Commander Eris has received his message. The monster army will be destroyed!"
"Dammit. Some of them must have escaped. Sorry, Eris. I'll come, too!"
"Indeed it would appear that is the case. Quite the oversight...having an aerial view of the battlefield...from a flying dragon..."
As stated previously, switching to the weapon category of one of the party members will swap them out with Nowe. The methodology is similar to the Pact Partners from Drakengard 1. Only, they are no longer just glorified limited summons. They're fully fledged playable characters with their own strengths, weaknesses, and stats. They all also have their own HP and MP bars independent of Nowe. However, if Eris or any other party member is slain in battle, that's a Game Over even if Nowe has full health off on the sidelines. Anyway, let's take a look at Eris.
Eris uses spears, so she has a slightly longer reach than Nowe's swords and has a more thrust oriented method of attack. Sadly, the utterly broken charge dash of NIER has yet to be invented, so spears aren't particularly overpowered at all this time around. Using Nowe as a template for generic median protagonist to measure the other characters (it's a stretch, I know), Eris has the usual female character stats of higher speed and magic power at the cost of lower defenses, attack power, and health. Indeed, Eris is fairly fragile and I've had her annoyingly get stun locked to death a couple times in the past.
That said, Eris' speed is quite nice. She hauls ass at about twice the running pace of Nowe. So, she's not bad if you need to get across the area quickly for some reason and Legna is not available (read: oh hell I forgot to pick up a weapon back toward the start of the map.)
Though, on that same note Eris' dodge ability is...pretty terrible. Instead of a quick dodge roll like Caim, Nowe, or Nier performed, she instead does this...weird retarded looking floaty spin sidestep thing that both isn't nearly as quick or travels remotely as far. This results in her more often than not taking a club to the face that Nowe would have just rolled past.
A good deal of goblin scum purged from these holy lands meant for good, god fearing humans later...
"You honestly do not know this? Our job description is literally to defend them at all cost... How do you not know this!? Indeed, we grew up together! We're the same age... We went to the same school! How on earth can I possibly be more knowledgeable about this than you?"
"Because of the danger, the Knights of the Seal were charged with directly administrating the lands by the former hierarch."
"I didn't know."
"Well, it's not surprising. It's an old story. I don't know all the details myself."
" Granted, that is due to the fact it was being set up while we were both in pre-school. But, honestly... It could not be more common knowledge... A potato farmer in a field fifty miles from civilization could rattle off these basic details. I am utterly astounded by your ignorance."
"Look, Eris. It's not my fault I'm so pretty and you needed to hit the books to get ahead and make up for your homely shortcomings and know all this useless junk..."
"'Homely shortcomings'?! I will have you know I have had many potential suitors over the years."
"I see... And yet here you are hanging out with a new recruit whom, as you yourself said, you'd know since pre-school..."
"That does not mean- Ugh... Nevermind!"
"Honestly, how did you make it past the academy exam to join the knights in the first place and have not even a peasant's basic knowledge of this?!"
"Tch... My dad is a dragon, Eris. You know...the type that breathes fire and can decimate an entire battlefield within seconds... I just simply wrote 'CAN RIDE DRAGON INTO BATTLE' on the front of the exam and bam...here we are. To make no mention my other dad was the head of the order. It's not too hard to fill in the holes for yourself, Eris."
"Well, duh I remember that, Eris. I was there. It is still the talk of the kingdom. Everyone knows that! Do you take me for a fool?"
"Of course not. Yes, the districts must be protected at all costs."
Alrighty, then. The party is now charged with storming a hill to rendezvous with one of the platoon commanders. Easy enough. Objectives in Drakengard 2 almost always consist of "run down the Murder Meter" or else "run over here...murder optional."
A last couple of gameplay notes: magic. Magical attacks are based on the currently equipped weapon. Nowe and Eris' default weapons have basically the same magical attack with a different color (I think Nowe's is blue.) They unleash a magical Sonic Boom that flies around the area and whacks most enemies in the vicinity. As characters level, their magical attacks will grow stronger and more of 'em will be able to be stocked (up to a total of four.)
So at the top of the hill, the platoon commander immediately signals a charge down the other side of the hill. Sure, why not? Another Murder Meter shows up at this point and Nowe/Eris is required to meet ethnic cleansing of the uppity monster tribesmen folk quota. They really ought to know their place by now. You'd have thought Hierarch Verdelet's subhuman purges after the great war would have taught them a thing or two.
Down in the field at the bottom of the hill is yet a treasure chest containing the first new weapon of Drakengard 2. This game is kind of dickish with its weapon collection business. There is no requirement to catch 'em all this time around for alternate endings. So as such...you can completely miss some weapons forever if you don't seek them out when they first show up. Gee, thanks Cavia... Great compromise.
Drakengard 2 Weapon History posted:
At the end of a long battle, the rebel leader finally pierced the tyrannical king's heart with his spear. As he drew his last breath, the army of the revolution poured into the castle. Now the land would be free of corruption, and peace would return. The victorious rebel smiled at the thought, but his smile was short-lived.
The last battle perplexed him. The king offered no resistance - it almost seemed as if he gave his life willingly. But would a corrupt king do that? While he pondered over this, his allied called for him to come to the dead king's chamber.
There he found the princess, bound and gagged. His allies quickly explained that they had found her like this. Feeling rather bemused, he removed her gag and heard the truth: she had been taken hostage by a spy from a nearby land, and used as a leverage to force her father to sabotage his own kingdom. " He was no tyrant!" she cried.
Moving as if to free her from her bonds, the rebel drew his knife and then slit the princess's throat. Whether or not her father had been a tyrant did not matter now. All that mattered was that the angry masses had risen up to remove a corrupt king. The truth was buried with the princess's body and her murderer was crowned that day.
Maybe we ought to keep a running tally of all the murders in the weapon stories this time around?
Dozens of dead
"I take no pleasure from swatting these insects. Soar with me!"
Nowe mounts Legna once more. I'm sure there's a horrific fanfic out there where that takes on a whole new meaning...
"They're taking a different path to the District of Shining Life."
"Also, you are riding a dragon! You do not need more than the bare minimal ground support here..."
"Tch... Moral support is important too..."
More slaughter of the goblin tribe, equipped with only sharp sticks and crude axes, and absolutely no counter to the dragon raining death upon them from high above later...
Alright, there is one final little tutorial for this last verse of Chapter 1. The Dragon Overdrive or DOD (it's cuter when the game was named Drag-on Dragoon.) During Ground Missions, Legna's MP gauge fills by immolating enemies. If combined with one of Nowe's stock of magic power,
Legna has a few variations of the DOD based on his level and the enemies/terrain. The first one, Ripper Talons, is basically Legna just stomping the ground to cause an earthquake with its massive weight, and then taking off again.
That doesn't seem very special to me. Much less an "overdrive" of any sorts.
I do believe all three of those statements are synonyms, chief... And...the dragon is dealing all the carnage here...Nowe's just riding it around and watching... Is there any way to turn off the Union intercom chatter...? Also, is anyone getting a weird sense of déjà vu...? I wonder what that's all about.
As one last ditch effort to repel the Knights of the Seals' onslaught on their tribesmen, the goblins call forth an ogre to the battle. Funny, I could have sworn Caim drove those things to extinction a few years back... But feh... It's not like Drakengard 2 is big on continuity or consistency.
Ogres are now immune to magical attacks and will respond with counter-fireballs should Legna attack them. This means Nowe will have to dismount the dragon and tackle the monster on foot. Yes, these magic resistant enemies will become just as numerous and annoying as hell as they were in the first game.
Ogres pack a huge wallop and can smash off a fifth of Nowe's energy bar with a single strike. They're also nearly immune to frontal attacks, taking only 1 HP of damage with any form of offensive. So, what to do to topple the beast?
Well, there are two ways. One is to jump slash like a violent rabbit and hit its vulnerable head/back. The other, much more efficient (relatively speaking), way is to circle behind the ogre and slash its legs. This will cause the mini-boss to topple to its legs and take normal damage from attacks for about 5-10 seconds.
It's nice that they mixed it up a bit and all with some of the returning goons. But it's a pretty tedious gimmick, as it basically just makes a wall of HP opponent take longer to kill. Once Nowe or Eris circles behind the thing, it's basically finished since the time it takes to do its rising animation is just about enough time for it to be slashed down to its legs again. This big brute took a good two minutes of just mashing Square with the occasional roll to re-adjust myself before it finally died.
That said, with the goblins' champion felled, their sad little assault against the mighty Knights of the Seal ends in failure and the mission concludes. All in a day's work.
Some time later...
"Yes. Up ahead is the District of Shining Life. But the gate is sealed shut."
Ben Kenobi emerges from beyond the barred gate of the District and begs to be released. I guess the Knights of the Republic have fallen on hard times following the rise of the Knights of the Seal.
Following the events of Drakengard, what few Imperial Soldiers that survived Caim's wrath, Red's fires, Fantasy Nukes, zombification, the fall of the Sky Fortress, the sinking of the Sea Fortress, the sacking and burning of the Imperial Capital of Notspain, and the 50-Story Tall Manah stomping around the city have been imprisoned for...ya know...numerous war crimes, genocide, trying to end the world, being possessed by cannibal space babies, and what have you. Fairly reasonable stuff, really.
"What crimes did I ever commit?! Yeah, I stuck a bunch of children with arrows and burnt down their home. But they were brainwashed and defending some godforsaken child molester that needed to be brought to justice. I bet he's still out there violating the younglings while I'm locked up here! Bastards! Let me out!!"
"Each of the districts contains a 'key' that serves to seal in the poisonous air. In Shining Life, that key is the Holy Flowers."
"Yes, but what do the people have to do with the key?"
"The Holy Flowers draw on the life force around them to produce their blossom. This releases a perfume that neutralizes the poison and cleans the air."
"Life force? You mean, of the people who live here!? They're sacrifices!?"
"Nowe! Don't be a fool! They are the chosen ones, proud martyrs..."
"Okay...seriously, Nowe... Did you not recall the war between the Union and the Empire? These people are from the Empire... They literally tried to destroy the world. Murdered the previous Goddess. Destroyed the old Seals... Slaughtered over half the western half of the continent's population... Rape, pillaged and plundered their way across the lands... You are honestly not defending these people...?! There were entire mass trials following the war. General Oror was on the judgment committee! The options were this fate or...immediate execution for their many, many, many crimes against humanity. The ones here chose it rather than face the gallows. Again, it was only 18 years ago... I am fairly certain any veterans of that war would cut you down for this talk... In fact..."
Really, Nowe. Stop defending Fantasy Nazis. That is not an endearing side to take. Next thing you're gonna tell me that little shit Manah wasn't that bad.
How can you break character so badly when you barely have a character to speak of yet? There's like some kind of miasma of failure about him...
With Nowe immediately sympathizing with some hobo and turning around calling the organization his father helped build a bunch of corrupt assholes, so ends Verse 4. Nowe is still dragging behind in the kill polls. But, at least he's starting to pull his weight.
Verse 5 - The Lieutenants
Click for cutscene.
Following the successful completion of the mission at the District of Shining Life, Nowe and Eris return to report to General Gismor. Who just so happens to be hanging out with the lieutenants of the Districts for an introduction to these very silly folks in charge of defending the Seals that could lead the world to destruction...again...
"M-My apologies, General Gismor! Please, sir... What are your orders?"
"We've had reports of disturbances in the District of Soul Flame. We need more information. Eris, I want you to go there with Lieutenant Zhangpo."
Meet Sir Zhangpo: Dreadlocked ginger cockney scenery chewing midget.
"HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THESE THINGS?!"
<shrug> "I dunno."
"That's right. Sir Zhangpo, guardian of the District of Soul Flame."
"Damn! Do I REALLY have to go?"
Next up we have Sir Yaha, gay French musketeer elf and guardian of the District of Precious Light.
And last but not least, we have the bipolar meth addict goth Lady Hanch of the District of Hallowed Water. Yes, these three freakshows are the best Verdelet and the Union could come up with to defend literally the most important locations on the planet. Good grief...
"These disturbances have occurred just when the guardians are away from the districts. I hope it is merely coincidence, but we cannot rule out treachery."
"Dammit! Very well, my noble general. I'll do exactly as you say. I'll find the troublemakers and get rid of them."
"If you'll excuse us, we shall leave now."
"Nowe, I want you and your dragon to go ahead and clear the way. Leave immediately."
And with that, so concludes Chapter 1 of Drakengard 2.
Only...eleven more chapters to go...
Verse 4 Cutscenes
Verse 5 Cutscene
Eris Artwork - Why is everyone in this game wearing just one earring?