Part 111: Episode LXXXV: This is a Story About Enduring Repetition Testing MightEpisode LXXXV: This is a Story About
Verse 3: A Test of Might
Well, we found a tower. I don't see a clock anywhere. But it's still best to be on guard for pirate grandpas on the prowl. You can never be too careful.
This place is nice and all, but why are we here, exactly?
According to our lore, the flower you carry will bring ruin upon the entire world.
That's what they tell me...
As such, it is my duty to kill you on this very spot.
And yet... I have concerns about this. If I believed every cradle tale my elders told me, I would be no better than you foolish, lowborn humans.
Look, what's the deal? Are you going to kill me or not?
I must test your strength.
Why does everyone keep calling this a mountain? It's clearly a tower. It might be a tower atop a mountain. But that's not how location names work. Even the mission location title defaulted to tower. C'mon, people! Get your story straight.
Michael has the chat with Zero and then sort of locks into an idle animation. There's no music or indication the game wants us to continue at this point. So it sort of feels like something in the scripting fucked up until Zero continues a decent clip further into the stage.
At which point Michael uses his previously unseen instant transmission technique to warp to the lower floor and continue his discussion with Zero about their purpose on Mt. Whatever.
If you have the strength to defeat them, you likely have the strength to suppress your curse. Overcome this trial, and I will grant you the right to live.
<flies into the air> It will not be easy.
Michael peaces out till the end of the mission...
What kind of ridiculous reason is that!? Don't leave me alone on this shit heap, you goddamn idiot!
Music: Exvulsion ~ Battleground
Now on with the mission proper. Our goal is to descend from the top of the tower of Mt. Bernstein of the Vice Norden to its base. You know... kind of like we're playing the map in, now get this, reverse! I know! It's a real paradigm shift in Drakengard 3's level design.
It is worth mentioning that during the original, that is to say the main Drakengard 3 campaign, trip to this stage Zero briefly mutters Huh... that gate... at the top of Mt. Whatever. As though she remembers coming to this place a while back. Which again, makes me think this whole prologue was cut from the original campaign.
This is SUCH a pain in the ass!
Not sure why the gate at the top would be the only thing to trigger a memory of traveling through this tower. When clearly the twenty seconds of basic platforming left a far bigger impression on Zero each visit. Then again, Zero seems like the type that would get pissed an escalator wasn't functioning, yet still get pissed the escalator was so damn slow were it active. No pleasing that type.
Dragons are usually intelligent. Dignified. Reluctant to deal with people. Michael tried to act the part, but there was something... off about the whole thing. And what's more, he seemed to take an actual interest in the human race. So I tried to take advantage of that good-natured friendliness... in order to fulfill my own goals.
Up on the tower-mountain, as Michael suggested there is a hideous clutch of monsters infesting the place. So the armies of Midgard get a day off from Zero adding more causalities to their ranks, as it's a monster mash this entire mission. The first fearsome lot of foes to test Zero's might is... a pack of sleeping wolves and a few trolls lounging out in the sun. Michael is truly putting Zero to task this day.
Oh well. A test of might is a test of might. Even if the party scheduled to perform the testing wasn't properly informed of the occasion. Nobody ever said dragons were any good at proper event planning and organization. Christ, remember that Drakengard 1 ending when they decided to conquer the world? Rubbish foreshadowing and execution through and through. And the less said about the entirety of Drakengard 2's endgame the better.
Much like our first trek through Mt. Whatever, the layout is still a series of slightly curved pathways littered with monsters and punctuated with mid-boss arenas periodically. I mean, that's what all the stages are really. But it just feels a lot more videogamey when you're doing it through a tower.
Ugh! Son of a bitch! This is all that dickhole dragon's fault! As soon as I'm off this stupid mountain, he's dead!
We have a normal armored gigas to take on here. This one likes to go in berserker mode after only taking a bit of damage. Which can be a bit of a hassle with a much weaker incarnation of Zero with an unleveled default weapon but ehh...
I mean it's a gigas. These jackasses stopped being noteworthy around the time they started donning zombie make-up 70 updates ago. Meaty.
The path down to the next boss arena is littered with standard issue ogres. Which are actually kind of rare compared to their desert hailing brothers you can trip over in any biome at this point.
There's also a handful of double sized trolls down the path. No reason why. They're not particularly stronger or more hearty than their normal sized counterparts. They're just bigguns. We never did see those hairy tier 2 trolls ever again past that one room in Branch C, huh? I'm trying to think if they showed up in any of Accord's Requests and I'm drawing a blank.
There's also imps floating around the region in the low visibility mid-climates of the tower. I'm surprised they never added any imps to the platforming segments. That seems like a dick move this game would pull at some point but it never happened. Then again, they probably didn't program their AI to fly when over bottomless cliffs. In fact, they almost definitely didn't do that since I've seen them fling themselves into the abyss before. Drakengard 3 AI!
Oh, come on. Again? Did I do something to deserve all this shit? Did I!?
...Well, I guess I did do a little something. ...Or a lot.
The final challenge of Zero's might comes in the form of an oversized imp...
...and an ogre tag team. Nothing to write home about there on the scale of bloodsport challenges.
Now the flame centaur stomping into the ring is a bit of a different story. They're a rare breed in this game.
The method here is... exactly the same as the handful of other times they've cropped up. It just takes longer because Zero has kind of a crap weapon on hand to deal with the beast. I'm a bit sick of writing about mobs of enemies recycled for the hundredth time. Only one more mission with swarms of copy and pasted mooks left after this! Sweet release is at hand!
Michael swoops down to chime in after Zero cleans house on the monster's ball...
You managed to survive.
I can't BELIEVE you made me climb this bullshit mountain!
You didn't climb it.
Hurry along. We need to go.
Next up is the Land of Forests, where
What!? You didn't say anything about doing more of this crap!
And when did I say this was all there was? You need to pay closer attention. Otherwise, someone will end up swindling you.
Shut your trap, would you!?
A short downstairs jog later will bring us to the waiting Michael at the entryway leading to nowhere of the tower.
And waiting alongside Michael is this mission's end. So long Mount Bernstein of the Vice Norden and the last filler mission of the LP. Maybe someday someone will remember your silly name. Or the entire place will get leveled by war or perhaps an extinction level cataclysm. It's Drakengard. Either scenario is somewhat likely to probable at this point.
Video: Zero's Prologue Verse 3 Highlight Reel