Part 8: Episode VI: In Which There are "Puzzles"Episode VI: In Which There are "Puzzles"
"Some knowledge of the black arts?" I think that is a bit of an understatement coming from a former avatar of a time devouring dark god.
Anyway, if you want a quick and easy answer as to why Manah is still running around basically free after the events of the original game, here it is: The Knights of the Seal are utter idiots and have no idea who the hell she is... Yeah, nobody from the Union checked to see who was running things after the Empire fell. It's not like she's hiding it or anything. She's still going by the same name and hell...she still has the same haircut even. And the Imperial remnants obvious know who she is, given she's quite revered and all with this "Lady Manah" business.
But even then, that doesn't even make any sense. Verdelet was running things for a good long time and he was there at the end of the game. And her fucking twin brother is the current fantasy pope. So they should both know that she's bad news. Come on!
"If Lady Manah's going, then we will too!"
"That woman... Who is she?"
"It's thanks to her we have an abundance of martyrs. Saved us a lot of work, she did. Heh heh ha!"
"Nowe! That is enough! Not in front of the lieutenant."
"I vouched for you to join this assignment. If you anger the lieutenant and mess up my chance for promotion...I shall give you a real reason to make a pouty face..."
"I don't get what you're saying..."
"I am implying I would be very cross with you, to say the least."
"No, I got that part. What's this 'promotion' business you're worried about?"
"...You can't be serious."
If I am to understand that previous scene, Manah and her groupies' job was just to run into where they were keeping the Seal and make sure nothing is wrong.
They just sent Manah to go check on one of the Seals that keep the world in check.
Well, there's no way this could end poorly! What's the worst that she could do in there? You know, other than break one of the Seals. Like she did in the last game. And start up the apocalypse again. Like she did in the last game. But, what are the chances of that happening again? Pfft... It'll be fine!
"That's strange. The honor system has usually been reliable with black mages..."
"Look! I think the fog is lifting!"
"It must be that woman! She's done something!"
"You two! We have to get inside those ruins!"
Verse 3: The Dais
"Sir Zhangpo will be alright on his own."
"You think so? He doesn't look too tough..."
"Pot. Kettle. Black..."
"It's true that in the past Sir Zhangpo wasn't much of a soldier. Heh. Quite the opposite. All he cared for was filling his own belly..."
"I don't understand. Why was he made a lieutenant, then?"
"He entered a pact."
"A pact? What's that? How would a pact make him so powerful?"
"You...do not know this either...? Truly?! I could have sworn you didn't dwell underneath a rock..."
"So, if that's the case...then it's not the lieutenant who is strong. I mean, to lead an army, you need more than just some powerful pack-beast, right?"
"I don't think strength means what you think it means..."
"No, strength is everything. In the Knights of the Seal, strength is all that matters. General Gismor believes in that principle absolutely."
"Why do you think you have not been expelled from the order yet? It isn't your charming personality..."
"Come on. Our duty right now is to stay with Sir Zhangpo and to provide him with any assistance that he needs."
Note: "Full" may actually mean "there are one or two rooms where fire shoots out of the floor".
Welcome to the Fire Cavern Fortress which holds the Flame Dais in the District of Soul Flame. So I take it this is the ice dungeon, then? Har har har! This map is pretty tedious, as it's nothing but narrow, brown corridors. There are also "puzzles" to be solved. Puzzle is a very generous term for the mind bogglers in this area.
The first objective simply requires Nowe to kill the subhuman vermin plaguing the hallways and to run vaguely in the direction of the first mission target. Look at that horrid dentistry work! It is an awful fate to live in such a condition. He's doing them a favor by killing them, really.
At this point, he (or Eris rather) must do battle with an Undead Knight. One would think zombies would be kept out of the domain of one of the Seals protected by the holy Knights of the Seal. But what do I know? Undead Knights function similar to their horse mounted counterparts. They basically attempt to do dashing strikes toward Nowe/Eris. Unlike the horsemen zombies, attacking from the front is less "ill advised" and more "suicide", as the ghoul knights will block 90% of attacks and eventually get pissed and do an unblockable, very heavy hitting strike. That's a bad thing. Other than that, it's simply another enemy that needs to be rolled/silly twirl sidestepped around and hit from behind.
Drakengard 2: Stab them in the ass!
After that, the first
Following that, Nowe gets a map of the area. Glad you illustrated all the fog in the region and kept the actual map part to 1/5th of the document, guys. Very effective. That said, the rest of this dungeon mostly consists of following the quest marker and completing the brain draining puzzles at the destination.
The second puzzle consists of several elevated, narrow walkways with broken pillars between gaps. There is a switch crystal across one gap and the exit across another. Can you figure out how Nowe can transverse this perplexing pit?
While you figure out that brainbender, I'll just point out that there is a new weapon behind the staircase. Don't let the weapon story interrupt your critical line of thinking. Concentration is the key!
Drakengard 2 Weapon Story posted:
The young man was popular with everyone in the village. He had the ability to control the wind, and was often seen flying over rivers and valleys. He was a cheerful boy, though he always seemed be troubled by something.
Several years later, his father passed away. Before he died, he told his son about the young man's mother, whom his son had learned never to mention in his presence.
"Go to the place marked on the map." said his father. As if guided by a spirit, the young man took up his scythe and left, carried by the wind. How long had he been traveling? Over the forests, oceans and mountain ranges he flew. Exhausted and frail, he came at last to a village.
The chief of the village welcomed the young man and told him that the scythe he was carrying had once belonged to the village. Just then, a beautiful woman entered the room. The young man knew at once that she was his mother. From that day forth, he helped keep peace between humans and wind spirits. The scythe was never used again.
Description: A wind spirit's scythe.
Traits: With training, the wielder can deal a powerful blow.
Magic: "Fang of Shiva" - An explosion of freezing wind mows down the enemy
What the hell was that?! Cavia, you slippin', son! The next story better have children getting burned as sacrifices to appease an Old One or something to make up for this crap...
The third puzzle consists of a room where fire explodes from the ground at regular intervals while there is another crystal at the far end. Said explosives blasts occur in succession and travel down the line toward said crystal. Put on your thinking cap, kids!
If you guessed that you have to run right behind the explosions as they occur, you get a gold star!
The final puzzle is...not even a puzzle at all. And that's qualifying the last two as the bare bones minimal for brain use. This last one just consists of hitting a crystal...
And out pop two Undead Knights to fight. That's the puzzle. Nowe and Eris get a key to enter the Flame Dais' chamber afterward. That about sets the tone for puzzle oriented missions in Drakengard 2. Just enough brain power used so that I can't entirely zone out when slogging through some stages.
Following a brawl on the way to the Flame Dais chamber against a bunch of those fun bare bum elite goblins, this mission comes to a close. Let's see what Manah was doing while given free access to one of the Seals by...the protector of said Seal.
Click to view the outro cutscene.
Manah and her followers seem to be gathering around the Seal. I've got to say, this new one is a touch fancier than Drakengard 1's versions of "floor with a giant glowing glyph texture" Seals.
"Good. You can retain basic facts occasionally."
Zhangpo is understandably pissed that these jerks are mucking about with his District Seal and swings his giant...fanaxesword wildly about to ward off the peasants loitering about. Manah seems less than impressed with his flailing.
"It is because this is here that our people suffer. It would be better to destroy it."
"Madness! If we break the keys of the districts, the poison will be released into the entire world! Then everyone will die! Is that what you want? Fool!"
"The district key is the seal! That don't make a damn bit of sense!"
Manah and Zhangpo begin battling. This goes on for a good twenty seconds at least. Uhh...feel free to jump in and help defend your superior officer at any time Nowe and Eris. He's only in a duel to the death with someone trying to destroy the seal. No pressure...
Indeed, they were half way into the room at the start of this cutscene. How did they get all the way back to the gates during the time the fight began? Did they just back away slowly to see how this panned out? I'd expect some idiocy like that from Nowe, but I expected better from you, Eris. You're on notice, missy!
Manah's groupies bar the way...
"Defend Lady Manar!"
"It is Lady Manah, you twit!""
"Wait, we don't want this..."
"Nowe! They are no longer martyrs! They are traitors. There's no point trying to talk to those who would rebel against the knights."
Tune in next time for Nowe helping to violently put down an armed rebellion with extreme prejudice (but feeling really conflicted about it!)
Verse 3 Intro
Verse 3 Outro
Lieutenant Zhangpo and Ifrit Illustration - I guess this picture was taken during the Cyberdemon's emo phase.