Part 20: Episode XV: In Which They Really Stretch the Definition of "Daemon"Episode XV: In Which They Really Stretch the Definition of "Daemon"
After chasing Four all across of Southwestern Midgard, Zero finally catches up to her fleeing sister aboard the only remaining airship in all of the land. That is until the aviation industrial revolution of 1053 wherein the airship becomes a dime a dozen under the Empire of Not-Spain in time for Drakengard 1. There actually was a whole entire fleet of airships in the region not too long ago. But they were... recently decommissioned. For justice related reasons, I assure you. But that's a story for another day.
Zero... At last, my wayward sister finally arrives.
All your chickenshit running around didn't help. Sit still so I can kill you quick.
I... I have no wish to fight you, Sister.
Don't you know how much I admire you, Zero? I always have! This can't end in bloodshed! It can't!
You bet your ass it can! You think I came all the way here for a fucking picnic?! I'm not leaving until I've strewn your virgin guts all over the goddamned snow!
<shakes head> You can't... You can't...
Welp. Four didn't have much negotiations in her before leaping straight to the Intoner shrieking/boss fight phase of the conversation. So let's get down to business, shall we?
This burly bespectacled fellow is Four's Disciple and Boss Throwdown Hypeman: Decadus. His Japanese name is just Decad. I'm uncertain why he need an "us" added to his name for the localization. It's the only name alteration in the entire game. Little factoid. Anyway, let's let Decadus do his disciple summon ring promoter thing...
Impenetrable Shield of Antiquity!
The rare power granted to our own... The stout citadel that protects us... Cast your blighted sins upon these very skies!
New Music: Prevolt - Armaros (You should probably listen to this.)
So, who ordered a giant flying neon Tron Fortress? Meet Chapter 2's final encounter: Armaros.
Armârôs was the eleventh on a list of 20 leaders of a group of 200 fallen angels called Grigori or "Watchers" in the Book of Enoch. The name means "cursed one" or "accursed one".
Verse 6B: The Retreating Fortress
Looks more like a goddamn castle. Look at all those cannons on the perimeter... Circle in from below!
I can't! I can't!
Those square ring thingies are magic! Her song's power is making it hard for me to fly! It's pulling me in!
Great. Now we gotta take out all these freaking cannons... You just loooove messing with me, don't you, Four?!
I hope if you're playing for yourself that you have got used to the Panzer Dragoon rail shooter mode gameplay. As we're immediately getting thrown into the first of a whole two and a half bosses the entire game featured in this style. And probably the most annoying of the lot. Pretty fucking awesome looking design and music though. Seriously go listen to that music track. Metal Gear Rising taught me that the more hype guitar shredding buttrock boss battle music, the better.
We have an in-game justification for why Mikhail is stuck on rails for the duration of this fight. He is... literally stuck on magical rails for a roller coaster ride across Armaros's defenses. And Drakengard 3 has definitely sent this structure to the rail shooter boss base academy of grafting cannons to every square inch of the thing. I suppose we now know where all of the Land of Mountain's anti-air defenses were allocated in lieu of Four's Fortress.
While Armaros is lousy with cannons, like most artillery in the game, they're not a major threat. Just more of a nuisance of heavy ordinance. What we do have to worry about are Armaros's four eyes. The neon square trail of Intoner gameplay mechanics will periodically lead Mikhail and Zero toward said eyes for a timed eye poking contest.
Forty second are allotted for Mikhail to blind Armaros. And by blind I mean firing enough fireballs at the pink crystal floating around the spire to shatter it and move onward. Why the forty second time limit? Well, Armaros has some rather severe eyelids and a strong eyelash game.
By "eyelash" I mean an array of gigantic buzz-saws. What else did you expect a floating doom fortress to have for eyelashes? Failing to shatter the "pupil" of Armaros will result in Mikhail and Zero being drawn into the buzz-saw apparatus and being converted into a Intoner/Dragon smoothie for an instant Game Over. Needless to say, it's best to avoid such a fate.
One eye poked out later...
I don't hate you. I just want to kill you.
But, why!? I don't understand!
I feel kinda bad for her...
Shut it, would you!?
For Armaros Eye #2, we're only given 35 seconds this phase to stick a needle in our target. Instead of remaining stationary, the pupil crystal now darts between the center and two corners at the end of the spire. In addition to the omnipresent cannon fire surrounding each eye, Armaros's eyes from here on out begin firing green crystals at the attacking Mikhail. Everyone knows random geometric shapes are the most effective anti-air defense in rail shooters. Let's hope Mikhail doesn't have to face a giant polygonal face vomiting rectangles anytime soon. They're the worst.
Two eyes poked...
Where's the kind and gentle Zero I once knew?
Beats me. I've always been like this.
Remember when those boys used to bully me, Zero? I would cry... and you'd stay with me until I felt better...
...I think you got the wrong girl.
No! That's who you really are! You must remember!
Armaros Eye #3 is trapped in a cycle of rolling its eyes and naval gazing at Four's mushy attempts at winning over Zero. With an upped game of neon crystal firepower to accompany the theatrics.
Three eyes down, one to go...
Will you shut up already!?
If I die here, my disciple will soon follow. An Intoner and her disciple are united by a mystical bond!
A mystical bond...? It's called sex. There's nothing mystical about it.
Don't... Don't say such things to me, Sister!
Besides, your disciple will be fine. After you die, I'll just ball his brains out.
Mikhail is given a brief reprieve from staring down the eyes of the fortress for a bit of cannon target practice while Four and Zero have a heart to heart about Zero's intent to steal Four's boyfriend and fuck his brains out. This is probably an uncomfortable conversation for poor Mikhail to hear his Intoner mom talk about while she's riding on is back.
Getting back on track. The final eye of Armaros randomly does whatever the hell it wants with a thirty second time limit to end its seizure and with it the first phase of this neon nightmare.
But where's not finished yet. Just because we've damaged the vague lower workings of the original sky fortress of the Drakengard series doesn't mean there isn't a Plan B for Four.
And by "Plan B" I mean she's getting back on her airship and turning tail yet again! All the while having a fire sale on aerial castle real estate to finance skipping town. It's probably going to be a real bummer for whoever the bottom half of a several city block wide castle lands on down below in the Land of Mountains. Especially with the early afternoon forecasts of raining wyvern guts and viscera already peppering the area.
However, Castle Armaros is not out of the game yet. It's still got the upper levels of the structure held aloft firmly latched onto strong wyvern johnsons. What's more, a newly jettisoned tactical disco ball for has been deployed for back-up defense purposes. Get ready for the funk!
Armaros Mk. II is standing between us and Four's flagship. We've got two minutes to evade energy waves both horizontal AND vertical in nature, alongside wyvern energy snot spam. All the while laying into the summoned castle's maximum funk energy source. This part of the fight is dirt easy since wyvern snot tracks like garbage. Meanwhile, Mikhail's evasion roll has enough invincibility frames to trivialize the energy waves with just the laziest of dodging. Kind of a pathetic last ditch effort. C'mon Four. You're supposed to save the difficult boss form for last, not the warm up opening round form. You're bad at this.
Just lay down and die already!
You can never defeat me, Sister!
Really? You saying you don't have ANY weaknesses?
Oh, all of us have weaknesses. But I will never reveal mine. That's because I can keep myself calm... unlike you.
We'll see about that, you little prude.
Tell me, are you saving yourself? Or do you just stink down there?
Stop! Stop it! Don't say that! Don't say such things! <sobs>
Just stop this already, Zero!
Sorry. No can do.
I can't fight you, Zero. I don't want to fight you!
Fine by me. Then I'll kill you without a fight.
Oh, God... Someone, please... Wake me from this nightmare...
Sit still, Sister. There's nowhere left to run!
True enough, Zero. True enough. And hey, we took down a whole flock of wyvern along with Armaros. Or... were the wyvern part of the Armaros summon? Is it a package deal? Or were they previously arranged to aide in the battle? I don't know how this sort of thing works. Eh. I'm sure Mikhail is pleased either way.
That takes care of Chapter 2 of Drakengard 3 gameplay wise. Tune in next time and maybe we'll learn a thing or three about Four too before Zero murders the living shit out of her on the way to be number one.
Video: Four Showdown Introduction
Video: Armaros Boss Battle
Four Official Art - Lady, that's is not how you wear a puffy pirate jacket.
Armaros Concept Art - The neon castle in the sky held aloft by wyvern dicks. Majestic.