Part 17: Episode XV: In Which Nowe Shockingly Switches SidesEpisode XV: In Which Nowe Shockingly Switches Sides
So hey, Manah has joined the party. Or more correctly, Nowe has joined Manah's party. At no point in the near future will Nowe show any sort of initiative in future actions. He's basically pulled around by the nose from the new purdy girl he just met. Anyhow, Manah also comes equipped with the ever so originally titled "Manah's Staff". So let's take a gander at that item, shall we?
Drakengard 2 Weapon Stories posted:
Eighteen years ago... The girl stood alone in the dark forest. Abandoned by her mother, her longing to be loved soon turned into madness. The gods, charmed by her insanity, chose her as a tool to rule the world. Her eyes began to glow red in the darkness.
The girl with crimson eyes sent the world spiraling into chaos. The sight of the world collapsing soothed her. But the order was restored by a silent man with a sword. He took her on a journey to atone for her sins. Though she tried to look away, he forced her to face the suffering she had caused.
One day the man looked up to the sky and hatred filled his eyes. The girl wandered what had happened to make her captor so angry. Spying her opportunity, she stabbed with a knife she had hidden in her robe and threw herself into a nearby gorge...
Several years later, the girl had lost all memory of her crimes and lived in a poor village. She learned about the Knight of the Seal, who oppressed the villagers. In a strange twist of fate, the girl who brought chaos to the world took up this staff, and began to destroy the seals once more...
Description: A charmed girl's staff.
Traits: Possesses powerful magic.
Magic: "Divine Blood" - Summons a freezing storm which clears away enemies standing in the wielder's way.
Well, that was a surprising amount of back story for a weapon. So, we now know Caim went through with Red's suggestion of long term torment by dragging Manah everywhere to see what an asshole she'd been while possessed by the Watchers. But something caused him to get super pissed in the middle of this and she stabbed him while he was distracted and jumped off a cliff to escape. I guess he never thought to frisk her since feeling up little children was Leonard's department.
Unfortunately, she hit her head and got amnesia and now she's doing the same damn thing all over again as an adult. Drakengard! 2!
Verse 4 - The Mage - Music: Vein of Grief
"You saved mine."
"Save the thanks until we're safe."
Legna knows the score. Anyway, we're now tasked with another trench run filler mission to escape from the Knights of the Seal. Again. Ya know...I think the KotS are just kind of shooting themselves in the foot at this point. If they'd just went "well fuck that guy", put up some wanted posters, and called it a day then Nowe would have went on to...basically becoming a hobo out in the woods. Now he's gone and linked up with terrorists and I'm sure it will be just minutes before Manah persuades him to go Lieutenant murdering and seal destroying with her.
About half way through the rather uneventful stage, KotS mages show up. Mages are annoying enemies, as all they'll do while Nowe is riding Legna is spam nothing but non-stop homing fireballs. This in turn forces the player to dismount the dragon and deal with the jerks.
Fortunately, Manah is a mage herself and gets a HUGE buff against magic wielding enemies, similar to how Eris did with the undead.
Manah herself isn't all too dissimilar from Eris as far as gameplay goes. She runs at roughly twice the speed of Nowe's jog and has longer range thanks to using a staff. She trades in speed and magic power for poor defense and attack power. indeed, Manah's melee ability against any non-mage enemy is abysmal and about as effective as hitting an opponent with a cardboard tube.
To make up for her physical shortcomings, Manah is the strongest magic user in the game and can completely wreck up shit with her spells. Her default staff's magical attack is a huge area of effect spell that can juggle most any standard enemy to death in one blast. It's not quite Arioch's Ice and Fire Nuke spell, but it'll do.
Manah also gains MP differently. When not on the battlefield, her gauge will slowly refill over time. But by blocking enemies' magic strikes, it will also refill quite quickly with every blow. Since most early KotS mages' abilities are limited to Hadoken spamming, it's quite simple to just block a volley or two and be filled up for counter magic blast.
In any case, after the mages are defeated, Legna suggests we lay low for a bit and stay out of the sky. Maybe Manah has some suggestions. She seems to be wearing the pants in this mission in general.
"Just follow me."
"Do you know this area?"
"I spent a long time hiding out here. Not even the Knights of the Seal managed to find my hideout."
"But they found my hideout before I even got there..."
"The only noteworthy ruins in a barren series of narrow trenches right next to a valley where lightning strikes nonstop is not the most inconspicuous of locations, I'm afraid."
"Just follow me."
To Manah's Batcave. I wonder where she keeps the giant
"You don't need to thank me. I couldn't just abandon you."
Hmm... I wonder why she's so willing to help me like this out of nowhere... Should I ask...?
Nah. She's just nice like that. We're good.
"But what do we do now...?"
"I have to go to the next district."
"Yes. That is always my mission. I have to destroy the key of the District of Hallowed Water."
"What about that whole seal business the Knights of err...the Seal are always talking about? Aren't those important?"
"That's just propaganda to keep their power in check. They're ruling the people with fear to keep them in line."
"But I remember hearing about a bunch of bad stuff happening the last time the seals were broken..."
"Did you see this happen yourself or were you simply told about it by them?"
"Umm...well, I never really paid all that much attention one way or another."
"You saw the truth yourself. At the District of Soul Flame."
And so our uneducated dope of a hero decides to join Manah's crusade to destroy the seals because uhh...welp... It's not like he was doing anything better, now is he?
Verse 5: The Filler - Music: Vein of Grief
Well, okay an airship shows up and Legna has to shoot it down. But otherwise, nothing happens but an excuse to go to another village! So let's just get to the damn village!
"There's nothing left now. The river has dried up... It's not a place for people to live. Though they say that long ago, this was a green and fertile land."
"The river dried up? Just like that?"
Alright... Hold up for a moment. Now, I am going to assume the fortress/dam is also where the district key is kept, right? So they stopped the flow of water to a village in order to make the new seal. Why, exactly, was this necessary? That just seems like an entirely unnecessary dick move.
In fact...what's up with all the seals this time around? Why are they all sucking the life force out of people or spewing deadly gases or stopping up the flow of water? The old ones just sort of hung out in the middle of nowhere not really hurting anyone. Even the Goddess Seal made Caim's sister just kind of drained and weak (and not permitted to have sex with gingers.) Not outright in pain like it sounded like Angelus was in during her brief cameo.
Ya know...I think I know who the real villain of this series is...
Motherfucking Verdelet! All this shit is happening because they left that racist old prick in charge in-between games. Who set up the new seals? Verdelet. Who decided on "hey let's sacrifice the life force of the former Empire's citizens, that'll teach 'em"? Verdelet. Who hired the freak show Lieutenants to protect the things? Verdelet! Who let Oror bring home a half-braindead stray kid with a dragon who's now helping destroy the world? VERDELET!
In summary: FUCK VERDELET! Even from beyond the grave you are the worst character!
"Why don't you see for yourself?"
"I'll drop you two off to have your fun. If you have seen one miserable human you have seen them all."
To be honest, if a town is going to name itself inauspicious name as "The Village of Sand" when it was obviously established back when the town was surrounded by lush forest, then maybe this fate shouldn't be too surprising...
We open to the staple of every game in this series: dead children. Since I'm not sure the point that the Knights of the Seal are the bad guys now has been successfully drilled into everyone's heads. Perhaps next we'll see some of their soldiers tossing a basket full of kittens into the maw of a bear?
"Now do you see, Nowe? How they suffer? They have nothing to eat. They're starving to death. But they cannot leave... If they do try, then the knights punish them. But staying here means that they weaken and die, one by one."
"Hell for them if they stay, and hell if they flee."
"Whoa! Creature feature! Keep that hood up."
"S-sorry... I'm still getting used to... Ya know..."
"The ugly folk..."
"No. The truth is worse than any hell. Nowe, please. Open your eyes. See the truth."
Welp. One dead baby in a medieval level society where child mortality rates were probably through the roof in even the best of times. That's enough for this plucky young teenager to turn on everything he grew up to believe and join the young freedom fighter's cause. I wonder if that pesky "I was responsible for the brutal deaths of millions in my youth and this is a half-assed subconscious attempt at redemption" thing with Manah will ever come up later on...? Naaaaah!
Verse 4 Cutscenes
Verse 5 Cutscenes
Nowe and Manah Poster - It appears Nowe's hair is actively trying to remove itself from his head in an attempt to escape the gaping void of emptiness between his ears.