Part 27: Episode XX: In Which a New Challenger AppearsEpisode XX: In Which a New Challenger Appears
Music: Descendus (Instrumental)
Time for Verse 3 of 6. About half way there through the chapter. I mean this probably could have been a two or three mission outing if Zero wasn't so goddamn impatient with the locals or had the attention span to remember that giant tree from toward the beginning was probably her destination. But frankly, that is clearly asking for too much at this point. Before we proceed, completing Verse 2 unlocked a new weapon in Accord's store for a hefty 19,500 gold. Let's take a look:
Iceborn Slayers posted:
Well-honed combat bracers seemingly infused with ice.
Weapon Type: Combat Bracers
Weapon Size: Small
Have you ever looked into her eyes? They're mesmerizing,
like there's an entire rainbow held inside. They lock you
into fleeting chains and leave you to fall ever downward.
Have you ever caressed her skin? Smooth, like a fresh
snowfall melting beneath your fingers. You are captivated,
left to wait until your heart rots into a small, dark mass.
Have you ever heard her voice? A clear, prodding voice
like a ripe peach. Her death sentence invites you to a
world of perversion as sweet as any perfectly aged wine.
Her prey are placed in ice, where they offer up their lives
for eternity. Swords mottled with blood, fists scraped raw,
they fear nothing, and she looks on with a silent smile.
Such a bone-chilling fate... Nnnnngh...
Zero's impatience prevented her from learning anything from the faeries. Thus, the party was forced to wander the Land of Forests in search of Three.
Little did they know, a fearsomely powerful disciple was lying in wait...
Cram it. And be thankful you've still got a foot to search on.
Verse 3: Lost in the Woods
New Music: Blissade - Battleground
Welcome to the Forest of Light. It is no different geographically from the rest of the Land of Forests. But it is devoid of the goddamned fairies. So in comparison it is an utter beacon of sunshine over the previous few stretches of garbage real estate. Sure, there's still child eating trolls, undead skeletons, and mobs of panicking soldiers between us and... wherever the hell we're heading. But still... No more goddamn faeries!
Oh, hi there! ...Huh? Ohohoho, my mistake!
What are you going on about, dummy?
Hee hee hee! Some of these trees look like they have faces!
Trees with faces.
Yeah! I said hi to one because I thought he was smiling at me! Funny, huh?
The only thing funny is how dumb you are.
After dealing with a few trolls and warding Mikhail away from tree whispering, we come upon a new enemy type. Wolves! The wolves from NIER. Yeah they just... copied and pasted them wholesale into Drakengard 3. Same stock yelps from getting hit. Same animations. At least time around they don't crash any weddings.
So wolves come in large packs and their solitary attack is a lunging pounce. And... that's it... It's a video game dog enemy, what do you want? They jump up and bite people or they pounce and rip out your character's throat. That's about all dogs have in their toolbox.
The actual important target of wolf pack encounters is the white Alpha Wolf. While standard wolves go down in a hit or two, alpha wolves are about as big a block of hit points as a troll or an ogre. The reason it is important to take them out above all else is that they can howl and summon more peon wolves from the closet space between dimensions wolves dwell. That's how wolf packs work, right?
Zero! What is it? Are you okay? Are you hurt?
No, I'm sighing. This is such a pain in the ass.
Oh, Zero. It's too early to get overly annoyed with a mission. You've wandered into the Forest of Light...Combat Arenas. That last part evidently got rubbed off the welcoming sign. Three isn't much for public works upkeep.
Following the wolf encounter, our party comes across a bigger canine foe...
...or two. We're about mid-way through our murder road trip. Drakengard 3 has seen it fit to begin throwing multiple early mid-boss enemies at once from here on out. Don't worry, there is still a slew of enemy types yet to be encountered. And palette swaps of 'em too!
Ugh. I guess we've no choice but to take these guys out.
Leave this to me! No matter how a foe may whip and kick me, I always fulfill my mission!
Heh, yeah... Isn't the whole point that you like getting whipped and kicked?
This is really starting to piss me off. I just wanna kill my sister and be done with it!
Aw, chin up! Anticipation is half the fun of murder! Ha hahaha!
Taking on two Cerberuses isn't all that challenging. It's just a matter of chopping off six heads instead of three. The best method I found is to try to get the pooches in sync with one another in attacking. Since the hell-beasts primarily have front facing attacks with long animations (fire breathing and spastic biting), baiting the two of 'em into attacking and circling to one side to punish a select bad dog is easy, if slightly tedious work. It's just a matter of avoiding going too far to the side or else one of the cerberus might feel saucy and use a tail attack instead.
Also in regards to the fire breathing attack, the hounds are less than well trained by Three and have no problem belching flammable fart breath all over their companion. It doesn't hurt 'em too much in the long haul. But it can contribute into getting a stun in on the burning party. Plus friendly fire antics are always fun.
Two dead giant mutts later...
Uh, well, yeah, I mean... Right?
You can't fit in that tiny hole, dummy.
I dunno. He could probably squeeze through. Though... why aren't we riding the dragon, again? Zero didn't we go through this last chapter? C'mon lady!
Hey, Big Baby, you scared yet?
I'm not scared! I'm not scared at all!
Nice going there, Z. I think he just pissed himself.
It's not my fault! She was mean to me! She was mean!
...Really? THAT turns you on too?
The next combat arena area involves a few hapless soldiers hanging out with trolls. Have I mentioned trolls drop creepy items like "girl's skulls" and "child's ribcage" and the like? They're all worth 1G a piece. So picture above: Zero being coated with half digested child blood. I believes that qualifies as sufficiently Drakengard material.
The uncomfortable party between trolls and Three's soldiers is followed up by more wolves. I have nothing further to say on wolf mobs. I believe Zero has this encounter covered. After farming enough wolves to complete a low level MMORPG fetch quest, we finally come upon the ultimate challenge of this mission. And it is kind of a clusterfuck...
We're all shut in again!
Heh heh heh heh heh...
Lady Zero? Why are you laughing?
Uh oh. I think she finally snapped.
Um, guys? Maybe we should stay away from Zero for a bit...
So for the final forest arena of the mission, Zero
There is a giant fuck-off cannon performing artillery strikes in the valley below. Since, you know. Fiery explosions in the middle of a densely packed wooded area is a sound defensive strategy. For this fight, like most battles involving a Gigas, Zero can immediately opt to go "nope!" and summon Mikhail for some help. Mikhail himself suggests he be called in to take care of the cannon. The game emphasizes the same point by calling attention to the Mikhail summon circle multiple times and repeating his audio clip for support...
The thing is that
So there are Mikhail's fire breathing effects, two very large enemies doing ground pound area of effect shockwaves, and artillery explosions. All coming down at once.
And thus Jesus wept for the frame rate... It doesn't help that given the simplest evasion of artillery strikes and the easiest way to deal with the Gigas twins are both to turn on Yakety Sax and have a chase around each end of the arena. Taking off away from the overgrown zombie will make it queue up its tackle/face plant attack while also avoiding the cannon fire. Provided the attacker in question doesn't get distracted by Dito or Decadus doing about 2 HP of damage, or Mikhail lumbering in the path, or... it getting beaned with friendly fire from the cannon itself.
Alternatively, having a stock of soldier, troll, assorted undead, and half digested child juices to pop off Intoner Mode can greatly help. Fuck it! What's the worst that could happen? The PS3 catches on fire and burns down my house. That's just a risk we'll have to take.
Two dead gigantes and a demoralized cannon that just plain quits the field later...
Alright, Team Zero! Strike a pose! Aaaaand... perfect! Alright then, that's a wrap.
Everyone take five before we begin shooting the next scene: going back to wandering aimlessly Part 7.
That's awfully nice of you to come to me. Those goddamn faeries were starting to piss me off.
All right, Grandpa, you ready to get crushed!?
If you only knew the surprise...
I surrender. I came here because I want to join your cause.
If he wants to be our friend, we don't have to fight or anything!
Well spoken, my winged friend.
Uh... sure. Whatever.
Uhh... Alright then! Mission over, I suppose. Sure, why not? We've got more mid-chapter post-mission clean-up than usual this time around.
During the course of our wanderings Zero picked up another Combat Bracer for her growing collection. Worth taking a gander at while we figure out what just happened.
Golden Petals posted:
Heavy, clawlike bracers seemingly modeled after flowers.
Weapon Type: Combat Bracers
Weapon Size: Large
In a poor village deep in the arid mountains lived a devoted
nun. Her quiet prayers soothed the hearts of the people,
a lone flower blossoming in the wastelands of their minds.
One day, disease struck the village. The victims shriveled
into mottled invalids before dying in enormous pain. And
though the nun prayed and prayed, the illness ran rampant.
As she prayed, buds began to sprout from the corpses.
As each villager fell, new flowers grew, and soon,
the entire village was filled with their sweet aroma.
None know what happened after that, but where the villagers'
homes once stood, a vast field of flowers can now be seen,
their forever-blossoming petals fluttering gently in the breeze.
Nice! What me to go pick up a bouquet for those babies, Z? Or... is the flower thing kinda passe for you at this point...?
The disciple Octa has broken the mold of Chapters 1 and 2 by joining up with the team before we've even gotten the chance to fight, much less murder the shit out of his Intoner. I'm sure that will not cause any conflicts of interest when we get to that stage of the proceedings in the future.
And finally, as with every disciple, Zero receives a token of appreciation. This time in the form of the first of worst goddamn weapon type in the game!
Everlasting Ring posted:
The chakram used by the disciple Octa.
Weapon Type: Chakram
Weapon Size: Medium
A journey is an enjoyable thing, especially one to learn the
secrets of a woman. It's ever so exciting, which you can
see for yourself if you move your eyes juuust a bit lower...
Climbing those two mountains is so enjoyable. Feeling the
soft ground beneath you, stuffing yourself with the small
fruits found at the peak... Ah, that I had more mouths!
It's wonderful to rest in the mother forest. Whether your
nose follows the aroma of the underbrush, or you dare
explore the dark cavern that lies below... Ah, what bliss!
And let us not forget about a hike to the spring! A generous
drink of the liquid o'erflowing from deep within my beloved
pond would be enough to harden up anyone's weaponry.
Welp. I'll let you all speculate on Octa's running interest is in our group dynamic.
Video: Verse 3 Highlight Reel
Octa Official Art