Part 45: Episode XXX: In Which We All ReturnEpisode XXX: In Which We All Return
Music: Descendus - Instrumental
I tried to get as much weapon business out of the way earlier. But Accord is having a fire sale at the tail end of the game and thus two new weapons have been thrown on the marketplace just prior to the penultimate mission. Both are being sold for a cool 38,700 Gold again. My wallet aches.
A ruthless sword that helps your Blood Gauge fill more quickly.
Weapon Size: Medium
My cursed body bleeds once a month like clockwork.
I am thin and weak and more ugly than most. I am, in a word,
different-and people do not take kindly to such.
Too weak to work, a mere useless husk, I spend my days in
a basement waiting for the abuse I know is sure to come.
...In my dreams, my body no longer bleeds.
I feel sick. Sick. Sick and queasy. In my dream, the man
who abuses me appears again. But this time, I seize the
weapon he has long used to torment me.
In the dream, I hit him again and again. And then I see,
for the very first time, that I am not the only one who bleeds.
I am human. Just like him. And this makes me smile.
Duchess's Dance posted:
A large, ornately decorated chakram.
Weapon Size: Medium
Don the frilly dress. Put the fetching bows in your hair.
Slip on your finest shoes. Use your voice. Flash your
smile. Close in on the target. Whisper love in his ear.
Pluck feathers from an extinct bird. Make a coat from the
pelts of tiny creatures. Sprinkle your petals in the water.
Sing the minstrel's love song just as it was taught to you.
Many men have knelt before me, their rough voices begging
for my love, their lips fumbling trite poetry. Every man is the
same. Every day is the same. Every gilded, tiresome day.
Can anyone slash this routine? Can any bedecked blade
cleave it in twain? I do not wish for such an end, and yet as
I watch these wretches writhing in the road like maggots...
Right then. Those were both lively, upbeat tales. Let's shuffle on back to the main event, shall we?
Verse 3: One's Abode
Music: Antipurity - Battleground
Despite the title of this mission, we still have a few blocks to transverse before we actually reach One's lovely abode/the only well maintained structure in Cathedral City.
Between us and the city center is every soldier man in the book. Guys with swords, saps with spears, archers out the ass, cannoneer commandos... the works.
Well then, let's not disappoint the bastards!
Zero's actually here? But how...? Take positions!
Contact's lost with second unit!
Stand strong and protect the gates! Fight!
Once we clear these soldiers out, the Cathedral should be close.
Hmm? Are you asking for help from little old me? We-ee-ell, it does make sense to use the best arrow in your quiver. I knew you'd come crawling to dear old Cent eventually!
Octa? Can I ask you a favor?
Oh... Ignoring me, eh? Such bashfulness really is unbecoming...
Gah I'm hit! Someone! Avenge me!
No! Wait... Stay with me. Hey! We need a medic over here!
Is he dead? Hey, hey, is he dead? Whooooa, look at all the blood! Ah ha ha! Do me a favor and skip the medics, would ya?
Many, many dead soldiers later...
A bit further up the cliffside path which serves as our path for this mission we come upon the final new enemy type we shall encounter on our journey. I want to say quite possibly in the entire game. I mean sure there's some upgraded versions of old enemies to come and I'm not counting bosses. But as far as trash mob fodder and mid-boss arena annoyances this might be the last entry. Meet the Imp.
Great. Another freak of nature.
Flying beasts. Imps, I would imagine. They say they feast on the livers of humans.
That's quite the habit they've got there.
This is such a drag! Can we just kill everyone and get the hell outta here already?
I might just have really rotten luck with these guys, but I despise imps. These bastards are one of the only aerial creatures in a game that sort of has next to nothing in aerial combat. You can land two or three swipes with a sword. Maybe pull off a flying kick with combat bracers. Or throw the wet fart that is the chakram to hit these jerks when they're air bound.
Now normally these guys will fly down to attack occasionally and can be knocked out of the air with enough concentrated damage. I have personally had these fuckers' AI just utterly shit the bed a handful of time. I'll elaborate in a minute. First let's go over their attacks.
The primary and rather aggravating attack of imps is to fire off a Zero seeking energy ball. Instead of every other projectile in the game, this fireball is content with just lazily floating down to Zero's position to strike her. This is a pain in the ass since it homes in on Zero, you need to just drop everything in the middle of a fight and wait for the damn thing to mosey on down and be blocked/evaded or risk taking a healthy hit of damage. While it's not a problem against solitary imps, when multiple are on the field or paired up with friends, it's just a really annoying thing to deal with when Zero just wants to get her murder on.
The second attack imps possess is a dash maneuver low to the ground. This is the point you're supposed to deal some heavy damage on an imp and hopefully knock it to the floor for a follow up punishment. Preferably with the pointy end of a spear dropped down their arse or having Zero get her Chun-Li on kicking the bastard's cranium. However, if an imp completes its divebomb, it will use its speed to...
...soar back up just barely in range of Zero's ability to attack again. Imps usually alternate between a couple of rounds of fireball lobbing before performing a dive bomb dash and then repeating. The trouble is more than a handful of times I've had these pricks just bug out on me. Usually due to dive-bombing into a weird part of the wall before ascending and kind of just getting stuck.
By "stuck" I mean they just decide to hang out and do nothing but shoot fireballs forever high up in the air. Or in other cases I've just had them decide flapping in a stationary position was enough effort for the battle. So you've got this bastard high enough up where you can only slash it once with a sword, forget the spear, if you angle it just right maaaaaybe kick it, or poke it to death with a chakram for several minutes straight. Most of my ire for that godawful open sun damage gimmick map is a future revisit of that area which had an imp get bugged in a mandatory arena about 25 minutes into the mission. And this was a top tier revision upgrade of the imp using weapons not really up to snuff. It took a solid ten plus minutes of poking the thing to death to progress to the end.
Fuck imps. Imps are my wyvern in this game.
Three dead imps later...
Well, it has been a long battle. Are you starting to slow down?
Heavens NO! Don't mistake this laid-back eaaaase of mine for laziness, mmm?
We must keep Lady Zero safe!
I'm pretty sure "Lady Zero" can watch her own ass just fine. Hell, if anything, she should be protecting US!
Don't say such thing! We must give all for our Intoner!
The undead decide to join One's defense force as Zero and her band press ever closer to One's stronghold. Seems an odd time skeleton warriors to start picking sides in the conflict. It might seem a bit odd there are so many previously murdered folks hanging on a hillside path Zero never even murdered her way down previous. There's a reason for that. Just not one we will find the answer to this day.
A score of undead double-murdered later...
Oh ho ho! It's all for Lady Zero, of course. The simple truth is, we're all completely helpless against her charms...
I detect the putrid breath of soldiers quaking in fear.
Trivia time! Did you know sixteen percent of human breath consists of harmful chemicals?
I... No, I've never heard that.
I wouldn't think so. This is my first time hearing it too.
Rip and tear! RIP AND TEAR!
Zero, are you okay? The flower's force is getting stronger!
Shut up and keep going... no matter what! You hear me!?
Chin up, people!
...Chin up? We're gonna die!
Then face your death with a stout heart
STAB, SLASH, SLICE, BLUDGEON, CRUSH, SMASH, EVISCERATE! Almost there! Almost there! Just a bit more murder to go until...
Well, it's taken a year and however many months to make it back to where it all began. Perhaps this time around things won't go as poorly. But first...
...We should probably do something about One's guard dog. I don't believe it is going to greet us as kindly as the Intoner sisters did last year.
You rotten dog... I'll kill ya! And then I'll kill ya again!
Despite all your anti-social bluster, Dito, I see you're still fighting hard.
Eh, I figure I might as well help Z out as long as I'm here.
You see, Dito? The power of genuine friendship conquers all!
Yeah, yeah. Don't get your panties in a bunch about it. You're creepin' me out.
Our final challenge for this chapter is to take out a Gray Cerberus. While certainly it is sporting a more fearsome look over its pastel blue predecessor. There is not much in the way of differences between Cerberus MkII and last season's model. It's mostly just had its stats beefed up behind the scenes to give it twice as much HP and pack a suitable for end game punch.
Also it breathes purple fire now. That's a neat trick.
As with previous cerberus encounters, it's a safe bet to go with a high damage output weapon like spears or combat bracers. For one of the final encounters prior to the first ending the big bad cerberus upgrade is fairly easy to topple over, much to its own embarrassment.
The Gray Cerberus taken down to 33% health...
Yet... the bitter truth does not escape me. I know in my heart that I was born for combat. I am a disciple, created only to serve an Intoner.
I agree completely.
Then how about you both shut up and make with the KILLIN'!
You stole the words riiight from my beautiful mouth!
The undead decide to crash the party around the time the guard dog has a foot half way in the grave. The arena is large enough that they can be safely ignored in order to concentrate on the mad dog stomping about. Failing to do so can be well...
...hazardous to one's health. Nobody likes being charred alive by purple fire. Nobody.
The only real new upgraded attack gray cerberus possesses is a series of tail thrusts 180 degrees in front of its position. Sure the old cerberus had a tail stabbing attack. But it didn't have a cute little puppy cerberus head biting for double damage on the tip of its tail, now did it? I'm not even going to begin to attempt figuring out the logistics of that creature's digestive system.
I shall follow Lady Zero to the ends of the earth.
What if you die?
Then I shall ascend to heaven without regrets! Oh ho ho!
No rush in jumping off this mortal coil just yet. We've still got others to send ahead of us, young man.
Defeating the gray cerberus brings this mission to a close. There is a final scene before the curtains draw just yet but... I'm just going to post a video of the final cutscene. I have nothing to add. Go watch for yourself and meet me at the other side, eh?
Video: Verse 3 Conclusion (You are required to watch this.)
Video: Chapter 5 Verse 3 Highlight Reel
Imp Concept Art - That looks NOTHING like Peter Dinklage. What gives?