Part 22: Episode XIX: In Which We Explore a Two Block CityEpisode XIX: In Which We Explore a Two Block City
Okie dokie. I believe that is quite enough dicking around hearing stories about dudes making broad swords out of their self-amputated legs and other such much interesting tales. Time to head to Chapter 5 in the Shadowed Valley and its City of Rust. Chance of gloom in the forecast is at 85%.
Verse 1 - The Teleporting Tentacles - Music: Valley of Avidya
"What kind of a place is it?"
"The name doesn't give you any hints...?"
"A long time ago, when the Empire and the Union fought, it seemed that the whole world would fall. This was one of the few places to escape destruction. It's not a place you'd want to live in. It's a dangerous town. The Knights of the Seal are supposed to keep order, but their presence doesn't help much."
"Well, well... That explains the ominous stench emanating from the place. I smell monsters..."
"I don't smell anything."
"That may be because you've been prancing about in that leather get-up for more days than I care to remember, my boy..."
"Nevermind. Leave them to me. I'll give them a...light roasting."
So it's time for yet another aerial mission with Legna. With the fall of the Holy Vial at the District of Hallowed Water, Legna has gained yet another breath sphere overdrive. This one is called the "Splash Breath". It gives Legna the ability to shoot 30 rapid-fire homing spitballs at enemies. Each water ball is about on par with a standard homing shot. It's kind of a situational weapon. A light tap of the button will send out 3-5 shots, when only 2-3 will kill most peon enemies. Unless there's a tightly packed group around, a lot will usually end up wasted one solitary targets. However, for stronger enemies it can absolutely tear the shit out of 'em. Like to the tune of annihilating an airship in 30 seconds shit tearing.
There is a new enemy in this area. I'm not sure if it has a proper name. It looks like a cluster of cancerous tumors held afloat by a transparent bag with flailing tentacles darting out of it.
These buggers are pretty aggravating to fight, as they have the ability to shoot extremely fast homing lasers with almost no charge-up time. They can also turn into a ball of energy and teleport in front of Legna. When in their teleportation animation, any fireballs homing in on them will have no effect or veer off course. They can teleport whenever and wherever. So if the AI is feeling particularly uppity, it can be a real nuisance with teleportation, shooting off a homing laser, and then teleporting away before you can do a thing about it. Luckily, the new water breath sphere works wonders to counter this.
Well, that's about this for this mission. Except, I'd like you all to see the idle chatter Nowe and Manah have during this mission...
"It's best to go to a city or town to gather information."
"I would prefer to avoid crowds...but we have no other choice if we want information."
"I don't know who the deserter of the Knights of the Seal is, but I hear he's quite the fighter. Maybe we can find out more in the city."
"People gather in cities and towns in search of information."
"That means more good guys and bad guys, right?"
Verse 2: The City - Music: Valley of Avidya
"It's a large town. We don't want to get lost."
Nowe immediately remedies this situation by murdering a couple of night watchmen to steal their map. Really. The first thing you do is jump four guys standing around at the gates and take a map from a treasure box that appears.
Despite Manah's wariness of getting lost, the City of Rust is a sprawling metropolis of two whole blocks with a side alley off to each side. Although Manah muttered something about her agents supplying information, we've just got to kind of wander the streets until we stumble upon something to move along the plot.
Luckily, just a blocks away is a lone townsperson being attacked by some manner of stubby-limbed pirate. Well, we already murdered a handful of guards getting that map. I guess we could afford a bit of positive karma in fighting off this mugger.
Meet the Bounty Hunter. Despite the stubby little legs, out of shape physique, and appearance of wearing a diver's helmet for headgear, it turns out Bounty Hunter is Drakengard 2 slang for...
...goddamn ninja! These guys flip all over the place like crazy, jump off walls, toss throwing knives, and attack lightning quick. I guess they went to the Chozo School of Bounty Hunting and not the Dog Institution of Hunting for Bounties. On top of their huge agility advantage, they pack a mean punch and possess about as much HP as one of the big beefy armored heavy KotS soldiers. I guess the knights hiring these guys is the first sensible thing they've done in quite some time.
In certain areas there are suspicious looking barrels with red stripes of paint marked on them. Your first instinct as to the purpose of these red labeled barrels is correct. They are exploding barrels. In a medieval melee oriented fantasy adventure. Now, how does exploding barrels work in a game where you pretty much exclusively use hand-to-hand weapons?
Simple: Turn friendly fire off for the playable character. Nowe can happily smash a barrel of gasoline, blowing it into bits in his face, and be not effected whatsoever. Meanwhile, any enemies within the range of the blast and blown fifteen feet away from the unblockable eruption of gas. Sure, why not?
There can, however, be dire downsides to toying with fire. Like the first time I attempted this mission and fought the bounty hunter. I used an explosive barrel while the goon was flipping around right by a wall. The mighty force of the bursting barrel managed to knock the adversary so far he...clipped out of the boundaries of the map... I could hear him frantically flipping around in desperation across the gray wasteland beyond this earthly realm. But there was nothing I could do to end his suffering trapped for eternity in a timeless land without sight or color. Also, since he was a Target enemy and the no one else of importance will appear in town until he was dead...I had to reset the mission and start all over... Great!
Saving this villager from the bounty hunter will reward the party with fuck all. Really. This is all he has to say before wandering around the city continues.
Well, not quite. The mission objective narrator tells us there's someone hanging out in an alley with more info. Thanks disembodied text voice in the sky! Say hi to your brother in the Forest of Myth.
Investigating said alley...
"No. We just want to ask him some questions."
"Wait... Did we... Didn't we just talk to you...?"
"You're talking to me now, aren't you?"
"No... Just before. We saved you from a bandit."
"I never have been attacked by any bandits."
"Is your friend here okay, miss?"
"Yes. He's just confused. It's been a long trip."
"No that was totally the guy from a minute ago!"
"Nowe, stop fooling around!"
"You know, Manah. I'd been meaning to ask you. You really remind me of someone too. Someone I knew back in the Knights of the Seal. You don't happen to have a brother, do you? A really umm...short...brother?"
"Ergh... You're right, Nowe. There's something fishy about this guy and his doppelganger. Let's get out of here."
"See, I told you it was the same guy!"
After exiting the alley, a strange cloaked man is waiting for us dead center of an open courtyard. This is not how stealthily creeping about a city works, people! Of course, neither does running around with a huge sword and butt shield at the ready. Or killing people instead of asking directions... Or making any attempt to conceal your identity when you're the most wanted people on the continent... Or... Oh well. Carry on!
"Sorry, but your plot advancement is in another castl-I mean it's over by the church..."
"May I ask where the church is?"
"Oh, it's just across town. Big church looking building in the other square. You can't miss it."
"Also I...might have alerted a few guards on the way here. And by a 'few', I mean the entire town watch."
"Okay, good luck with that, Lady Manah!"
"Wait... Didn't I see you back in the..."
Fighting our way back across town to the church...
Our informant at the chapel has of course been cornered by the KotS and must be rescued before being
Several more dead guardsmen later...
"Didn't I see you at the Village of Stone?"
"I don't touch the stuff, laddie."
"Yes. I'm sure I did. You were talking to that man back in the other plaza."
"I ain't left this city in eight years, boy. Don't know what you're talking about."
"No. I'm sure of it. And...wait, didn't I see you behind the gates when at the District of Shining Life? And...and after that you were one of the ones at the District of Soul Flame! He was with you, wasn't he Manah?"
"I have many informants across the land, Nowe. But they usually stay put to gather information. You must be mistaken."
"Come on, Nowe. Thank you for your help."
"Weirdo. I swear, young folk these days... They see one old man they think they've seen 'em all..."
Yup. A whole block off from the central plaza of the city. We're down in the City of Rust's hood at this point.
"It's Nowe and Manah, innit? The knights want you pretty bad... There's a good price on your heads, too. Lucky us!"
The cockney bounty hunters seem to think they're a match for people who've killed over a thousand of the Knights of the Seal, including two of their top lieutenants. I think we may have found someone in Drakengard 2 stupider than Nowe. That's quite a feat. In any case, this goes about as poorly for them as you'd imagine.
But, upon their foolish deaths, they leave behind a shiny new weapon for Nowe. So I guess their collective idiocy isn't a total wash. Let's have a gander out the spoils of war...
Drakengard 2 Weapon Stories posted:
The man who wielded this sword used to belong to the Knights of the Seal. His rank placed him directly above the one they called "dragon child."
The knight challenged the dragon child to a duel, scheming to halt the young knight's stratospheric rise through the ranks and earn himself a reputation in the bargain. However, the dragon child easily defeated the knight. Humiliated, he trained night and day and won promotion to platoon commander.
While he was on duty with his platoon, a traitor known as "the one-eyed man" attacked them and massacred half of their numbers without breaking a sweat. Terrified, the knight fled from the battle, abandoning his friends to their fate.
He could never return to the order after deserting them in their time of need. Stripped of his rank, and having even lost his sword, he wandered into the wilderness and was never seen again.
Description: A guard's sword.
Traits: With training, the wielder can hit stuff right good.
Magic: "Sonic Burst" - A burst of sonic. Harmful to hedgehogs.
Despite this "Masked Man" we're looking for also being a deserter of the Knight of the Seal, this story isn't talking about him. This is just a tale of some other pussy knight abandoning his post. Well, perhaps "pussy" is a bit harsh. I don't think anyone can be blamed for hauling ass from a berserking cyclops swordsman massacring an entire platoon. Especially when said berserking swordsman is an extremely pissed off Caim.
Despite being clearly beaten in the previous battle, the bounty hunters manage to rise from the dead and corner Nowe and Manah down the back of an alley. Cutscene retardation is fully in effect for the pair and they are helpless to fight off the brigands they just slew a second time. But luckily...
When did Batman start wearing khaki pants?
The masked man leaps from the rooftop in-between our party and their attackers...
"Pro-tip while I'm in the area: You're supposed to pull those holes in the top of your shirts PAST your neck line. Just thought I'd point that out."
"Is that him? Is that the masked man!?"
"Well it's a man...and he's wearing a mask... Well, more of a helmet, really... Did you hear anything about a helmeted man around this city, too?"
"Hey, who the hell are you? Don't get in the way of our work, alright?"
"Oh, I don't want to get in your way. I'm just one man."
"With a particularly large axe."
"I don't see no axe on ya!"
"Oh...it appears you're right. Silly me, I must have left it with my other mask. Or maybe you'll see it only if there's need to see it. It's hard to say."
"Oh my, oh my. Are you really that anxious to die? But, before you do, let me show you something. Come closer... Come on."
"Psst... What do you think he's gonna do...?"
"I bet he's got like a mini-cannon under his vest or something. It's gonna be sweet."
"That's the dumbest thing I have heard all day."
"NO! It would be totally sweet!"
The Masked Man rips open his top and exposes his totally ripped abs to the flabby, misshapen foes. The humiliation felt by the bounty hunters is unbearably immense.
The bounty hunters run off in terror...
"Now then...where was I...? Ah yes..."
"Ladies...how you doin'?"
"Oh, right... the mask. Silly me."
The mysterious Masked Man removes his err...titular mask to reveal the horribly disfigured visage of...
...yet another handsome anime man: silly hair color edition!
Verse 1 and 2 Cutscenes
Masked Man FMV (Worth watching, I guess.)
Music: Valley of Avidya
Urick: The Masked Man - Fix the bottom buttons on your vest or pull up your sagging pants, mister. You're breaking dress code.