Part 19: Episode XVII: In Which We Fight a Leviathan With a Horse For a FaceEpisode XVII: In Which We Fight a Leviathan With a Horse For a Face
Verse 8: The Kelpie - Music: Formidable Enemy
Hanch just skips the part where you fight the human enemy, then they summon their crazy monster mount for round 2 and cuts straight to the chase. Since Nowe is an idiot and followed Hanch outside, we now have to do battle with a crazy mythological creature over the damn dam. Terrific!
"Sssh! I told you. It's a SECRET! That is not how you keep secrets. Naughty-naught! I think you could use a spanking, deary."
"Ooh, touchy, touchy! You'd regret killing a helpless little woman like me."
"But you're trying to kill me with an uhh...? THAT thing!"
"Tsk tsk! I cannot be held accountable for the actions of my poor pet. After all, you are the one intruding here. He's just scared and defending his home."
"Well, perhaps but..."
"Will you shut up and hop on so we can swat this nuisance out of the air?!"
So Kelpie is...kind of a boring fight. It basically flies to and fro across the reservoir while firing off fireballs at Legna and hiding beneath the water. Navigating the artificial lake is pretty aggravating, since it seems they forgot to program a higher invisible ceiling to the area to allow for maneuverability during...ya know...a boss battle. The height I'm flying Legna above is as high as he'll go, even though Kelpie can float about at twice that height.
This boss fight has one really annoying gimmick. Every couple of minutes, mages will spawn out of thin air on either the bridge to the District Key or the dam and disable Legna's ability to attack. This means having to dismount the dragon, switching weapons to bring Manah out, and having her deal with them both before resuming the battle. I didn't know you could manage to put artificial game padding in a boss battle. But there you go. Thankfully, mages pretty much forget this ability following this mission.
While scampering about on land, Kelpie is still free to blast Nowe or Manah with fireballs from the air. If you happen to dismount just as she's randomly bombarding the ground then tough shit! You're taking a hit! Kelpie can also summon gushes of water from beneath the platforms to hit party members. But, at least those can be dodged by keeping mobile.
Taking out the jerkwad mages muzzling our dragon is made extra annoying by the fact that they always spawn on opposite sides of the platform they materialize into existence upon. This means either:
- A.) Dismounting Legna, switching weapons to get Manah, killing the mage, and then running for 15-30 seconds to the other side of the bridge to kill the other magician.
- B.) Or else dismounting Legna, switching to Manah, killing the mage, switching back to Nowe since only he can call Legna, flying to the other side, dismounting again, switching back to Manah, killing the second wizard, and switching back to Nowe to re-summon Legna.
- C.) Repeat steps A or B in two minutes' time!
Neither are particularly fun. Can't I just fight a boss in peace?
"You poisoned me AND you poisoned my father!"
"Oh, come now. I only supplied some water with less than beneficial properties at the request of my dear General Gismor. As I understand it, he offered both of you a drink. All I gave was a valuable life lesson: don't chug down every liquid shoved into your hands. I bet you won't make that mistake again, hmm Lord Nowe?"
"That's not the point! I mean...yea I won't but..."
"Oooh? Then what is the point?"
"Your water sucks!"
"Very eloquently put, Master Nowe."
"I used to have a pretty smile, as bright as the sunshine. Mmm... Do you want to watch?"
"Oh, I think you know, Lord Nowe..."
"Oh, it'll put a smile on your face..."
"Stop rambling on to the filthy degenerate of a woman and let me concentrate on this fig-?!"
"Let you fig...?"
"...I'll handle it. Again."
So, this is the only mention of Hanch's pact price. The rest of her limited back story is found in supplementary material. Her pact price was apparently her "allure and charm". Which is...pretty damn abstract as far as lost abilities go. Hanch was once a cute little girl with the silly nickname of "Sunsmile" for her surprising dental hygiene for living in the grim dark Drakengard world.
One day Hanch was out in a boat on a lake with her friends, no doubt smiling like a dope, when she tripped and fell into the water. Since nobody in any Cavia game ever can swim, she sunk like a stone and almost drowned. Lucky for her, the leviathan-with-a-horse-for-a-face, Kelpie, was chilling out in that lake and came to her rescue. Instead of...I don't know, just pushing her back up to the surface, it went with forming a pact with the young girl. Which apparently prevents drowning now. Who know?
The pact saved Hanch's life, but she lost her "charm". Which seems to mean she got really pale, lost the ability to smile, got huge bags under her eyes, became constantly wet/greasy, started smelling bad, and her personality became incredibly creepy. One day Verdelet wandered by, saw she had a pact, shrugged his shoulders and went "meh, good enough!" And the rest is history...
Right, then. Enough history lessons. Back to the less than stellar fight. Kelpie can also summon a giant glacier spanning the length of the dam. This...doesn't actually do anything other than make a hard to navigate area even harder to move about in. If you're stuck on lake side, then it can be problematic since you now have to fight both the limited space and the obscured camera from the ice. If you're stuck outside the dam, then you basically just have fifteen seconds where you can't do a damn thing until it melts away. Gameplay at its finest.
"Come here, little boy. Let Auntie Hanch sponge you down and let those worries just melt away..."
"I NEED AN ADULT!!!"
"Oh, you're so mean! But not mean enough."
"What do you mean I'm mean but not that mean? What does that even mean?!"
"Will you all stop saying 'mean'?! It doesn't even sound like a real word anymore!"
When Kelpies's health drops to below 25th, it just starts attempting to ram into Legna in-between rounds of hiding out in the water and bursting out with homing fireballs. There's a nice look at Kelpie, by the way. See. Big serpent thing with a horse for a face! Don't ask me what happened to Hanch. I guess adding a low-poly model of her riding around the thing was simply asking too much. As was actually animating the horse part of the monster.
Eventually, Kelpie and Hanch finally fall. Great death animation the downed foe has there. You're not actually missing anything by looking at just a screenshot. It just goes stock still facing vertically downward as the screen fades to black. Its majestic frozen form instills quite the sense of accomplishment in its defeat. Or it just glitched out. One of the two...
The party was nice enough to let the dying Hanch dismount her slain pact partner, swim to shore, and crawl several dozen yards to have a scenery chewing death scene back at her district key's chamber.
"I-I had so much left t-to live...for like...! Like... Well... Uhh..."
"Why? Why? Why? Wh-oh yes...the clumsiness... I never did look where I was going when I was grinning... Oh, I had such a perfect smile... Why did I never take those swimming lessons?! Why why why?!"
"The storm... The darkness... It's coming...to swallow me up..."
And with that Hanch dies. No fancy bursting into flames (bubbles?) or even a graphic of her district key shattering. She just plops over dead and the next scene rolls...
I'd just like to go ahead and say that this is entirely false. There's still a DAM blocking the river. You can come back here later and guess what...? The dam is still there and the village is still a shithole called the "Village of Sand" with no river (since that would have destroyed it, as previously shown.) But hey, Manah and Nowe feel like they've accomplished something by murdering a crazy cat lady and her horse fish. And that's what counts!
"But I only helped you with this one..."
"I count your inability to competently stop me from my goal at the Flame Dais as an aid to my cause."
"Oh? Uhh...well, I'm glad to help!"
"Do you mean the Village of Sand?"
"It is a...little but further away than that."
Eris rushes into the room...
"That woman is using you! Manah-that's your name, isn't it? You've cast a spell on him, haven't you!?"
"I think you underestimate him."
"Perhaps his ability to resist being duped."
"Maybe if his former companion wasn't such an emotional child when she cannot get what she wants, then bringing him to my cause wouldn't have taken so little persuasion..."
Eris goes to slap the taste out of Manah's mouth. But Nowe, being the dolt we've come to know and
"I need answers. There are too many questions still remaining. All I know right now...is that I can never go back to the Knights of the Seal. Never."
"You're wanted for high treason, attempted assassination, more counts of murder than I can list, theft, and now the death of a lieutenant. That option was never open to you again, Nowe. But if it's answers you want then I can do my best to hel-"
"'Kay, was nice seeing you. Goodbye, Eris."
Nowe and Manah just sort of walk off...
Uhh...Eris... You're not going to let them just walk off, are you? Public Enemy #1 and your traitor best friend... Right then. Gonna stop them, right?
Uhh...Eris? They're getting away... Just killed another one of your bosses... Broke a seal holding back the apocalypse... Probably gonna go do it again. Their backs are turned. You could probably charge Manah and drive your spear right in the back of her spine if you wanted. End this whole thing now. Or you could tag along and try to convince them what they're doing is wrong...?
No...? Just gonna stand there and get pissed at Nowe's new girlfriend...? Umm...okay. I guess that's cool too... See ya around, then!
Hanch's Death and Aftermath Cutscene
Hanch and Kelpie Poster - Stop looking at her wet boobs, ya perv.