Part 50: Episode XXXIV: This is a Story About the Ramifications of Human Cloning
Episode XXXIV: This is a Story About the Ramifications of Human Cloning
For a change of pace, let's talk pricey ass DLC. There are six DLC chapters of Drakengard 3 starring each of the Intoner sisters. It's $6.00 US a pop per DLC campaign or $30.00 for a bundle of the whole shebang. Which is pretty hefty considering a digital copy of the game is $40.00. To my knowledge I don't think the DLC has ever gone on sale. But fret not. I am bad with money and plopped down the cold, hard cash to pick up the bundle and show you jerks for this LP. Yeah I've spent like $90 on Drakengard 3! No that is not a sound financial investment nor do I recommend doing so!
Welcome to the first of six of Drakengard 3's Prologue DLC chapters. If you've forked over the dough, the DLC campaigns unlock after completing Chapter 5 and hitting the first ending. Which as I recall was a thing we did not too long ago. If you're playing these for yourself at some point any of them are fine to start with EXCEPT for Zero's DLC. That one has a whole bunch of spoilers for heady business in the final ending path to be touched upon many moons from now. One's is definitely meant to be the first played as it properly introduces a DLC only character that appears in most of the following chapters.
Today, if you couldn't tell from the chapter banner, we'll be covering One's Prologue chapter. Each DLC chapter consists of four missions set in the months prior to the events of the main game. Unlike the core campaign, the DLC has very limited in-between mission options. Each of the Intoners are automatically paired with their corresponding disciple... or the closest substitute in One's case. We can still do business with Accord buying healing supplies and buffs but there is no futzing with weapon upgrades or even switching. Everyone in the DLC is limited to their unique weapon. In One's case that is her oversided steel hula-hoop chakram. Yep we're stuck using the lousy chakrams for four missions straight. One's DLC kind of blows gameplay wise.
Once upon a time, many moons ago...
...there were five beautiful Intoner sisters.
Four of the Intoners owned a personal servant called a disciple...
...but one of them had no disciple at all.
Verse 1: The Intoner of Logic
We actually start getting specific dates on events moving forward now. The Prologue of Drakengard 3 took place on March 4th, 999 AD. So we begin One's story four months prior to Zero's first sister murder attempt in Cathedral City. You don't really need to pay attention to any of the dates but there you have it.
I don't want to do this! I'm scared!
We begin back in this miserable excuse for a boss arena. From here on out get used to seeing familiar locales. The first five chapters of Drakengard 3 had us visit all but a handful of the maps in the game. And the DLC campaigns are more than happy to recycle all those assets as well. It's the tried and true Halo 1 method of having the player start at the opposite end of a map, maybe futzing with the time period or weather a bit and calling it a different mission.
If you're like this already, you'll never be able to kill Zero.
But... I don't want to fight you, One.
If you're not coming for me... then I'm coming for you!
Music: Prevolt - Armaros
Our first challenge is to have One kick the shit out of her gender-swapped doppelganger. Since this is just sparring, Brother One has left his Intoner slaying dragon fang sword at home in favor of taking up an identical steel hula-hoop like this sister. As well as her wardrobe. Well I guess it's only fair. One was borrowing one of his spare robes during the ending sequence there.
If you're weak enough to die here, you'll never be able to kill Zero. Fight like your life depends on it!
You haven't forgotten your mission, have you? If Zero manages to defeat me in battle... you have to kill her.
But if I just need practice, why am I fighting you?
Taking on ordinary soldiers won't prepare you for Zero. She's... a monster. And only an Intoner with the same sorts of powers can ready you for that.
Focus! If Zero were here, she would've chopped your head off just now!
I have to wonder if One just saw how utterly useless disciple-like characters are in a battle and just decided to re-roll all her brother's stats into a stealth focused build. It would explain how the heck managed to creep into the middle of a football field sized hall and silently stab Zero in the back.
Speaking of battle, all the Intoner sisters play exactly like Zero were she locked into using a single weapon. One has her hula-hoop chakram. Two has a big ass sword to go along with her anime Hulk strength. Three has her scissors which is a short-sword with a wonky hitbox. Four uses combat bracers thanks to her super fingernail shame complex. Five uses a huge broadsword as a spear because Five is kind of an idiot. Once a DLC campaign is completed Zero can use their corresponding unique weapon in the main game. So that's nice.
Brone here has the same exact moves as One proper just grafted onto a somewhat more aggressive disciple idiot AI. The only difference being he cannot pop off Intoner mode since that's for magic girls only. No boys allow! Not that it's really needed for this fight since it's nearly impossible to lose.
One beats the snot out of her brother for a few minutes until...
I hope so. I've been training for three months now... Do you think I'm strong enough to help you now?
Three months since I gave birth to you...
Alright then. Sure. Let's have a flashback in the middle of a prologue to a prologue to this prequel game. Get all Inception up in this shit, why don't you?
I realized this back when the nation was still wallowing in chaos. Before we stepped up to save the world.
And so did One embark on a soul searching journey smoking peyote in the Land of Sands and ya know... really getting to find the real One. The real real One. Well... that or we're just back into the Cathedral and there is going to be some magic bullshit excuse as to why there One has a gender-swapped clone of herself. It's always magic.
They boost the power of the Intoner's song, and also quell the desires that stir within them. Desires for sex... For honor... For cruelty... For romance... We all lust after different things. But what, exactly, did I desire? I couldn't be sure.
It's hard to put into words. But I guess I felt... lonely.
In the DLC characters like to perform narration monologues. Some more so than others. One certainly is one of the more introspective Intoners and like's to ramble in her head. So if you see a big block of text in the middle of battle or with nobody around it is just One internally naval-gazing.
There's nothing much crackin' in the Cathedral today. Just a casual stroll up to the top floor again. This time things have changed a slight bit at the top.
I mean I, for one, do not recall the big magic circle of light up in the final boss arena. But it is triggering me hard with those Drakengard 1 rhythm game rings emitting from it. This magic glyph is not my kinda magic glyph.
And so via the power of Violence Vocaloid magic song and the ever expanding list of tasks it can accomplish, a fully formed and clothed Brother One is spawned. Huh... Turns out creating a fully functional copy of yourself is surprisingly uninvolved. Hey they even threw in a matching highly impractical chakram with the package! Good thing this magical clone creating circle has dissipated by the time Zero and Mikhail showed up to rumble. That boss arena was enough of a chore without having to worry about accidentally tripping over a magic hotspot that spawns a confused Man-Zero. That would just be weird. Very Drakengard perhaps, but still weird...
Music: Pulchregeist - Battleground
You... are me.
We're the same.
You and I are... the same?
Yes. We are One.
They really didn't put much in the way of effort into Brone's in-game model. He has slightly altered hair and... that's it. I mean I know you were born 20 seconds ago and it's understandable to have some baby fat and all. But you might want to do something about those man-boobs guy.
Now that Ms. ToocooltohaveadiscipleIlljustdoitmyself has a witless AI companion it is time to head back downstairs and out of the cathedral. They're really getting their mileage out of this map.
If you'll recall One's short story the Intoner sisters only conquered the lands in time for New Years Day 999. We're still half way through 998 and the Cathedral City is still under the control of vague corrupt lords and their armies. Which is the excuse why we're still fighting the same hordes of soldiers as always.
The remainder of the mission works exactly as Zero's visit did just in reverse. Go down a floor. Hit an arena on each level. Kill everyone before proceeding. I mean Brother One is supposed to be a secret fallback plan for One. It makes sense to murder all witnesses. A bit less sense is how One made it to the top floor of a hostile controlled cathedral without alerting anyone in the first place. But meh details...
Since we're exclusively using a chakram, they're going to drive home that fact hard right off the back. For instance, how about fifteen archers all in your face at once? Remember how chakrams are good for dealing with archers in hard to reach places? You bet your ass you'd better remember!
Breaking into the Cathedral? It's blasphemy!
Divine punishment befall upon this heretic!
Stick to your posts! Let nothing through!
The Cathedral must be protected!
She's not alone...
If we let a weakling like her win we'll be mocked for generations!
If she's weak what the hell do you consider strong?!
A disciple is a tool for battle. But it didn't feel right using someone else as a weapon. So instead, I created a copy of myself. And since it was a copy... no matter what happened to it, it would always forgive me. Or I would forgive myself, I suppose. I used the Cathedral's magical energy to infuse my copy with disciple-like powers. More than enough to take on the lords of these lands. Thus, I gained a partner I could rely on. And a way to forgive myself for what I had to do.
Yeah that's all well and good but I'm down here playing a bad cover-shooter with these bowmen. Maybe we shouldn't have bound the same meter to absorbing blocked shots, charging a chakram throw, and dodging all at once. Too many cooks for one gauge, game. Are you trying to have a Half-Life 2 situation where dashing, armor, oxygen, and a flashlight are all the same resource? I replayed that game recently. The HEV suit is designed REAL dumb.
In any case, slaying the five archers on the ground and the ten up on scaffolding will satisfy the Oneder Twins bloodlust and let us continue downward. I miss the days when you just had to find an emblem or a red crank to open a lousy door.
Whatever you like.
Well, you made me, so... how about "Mother"?
Forget it. That makes me sound old.
But you said whatever I--
Sister. I'm your sister. Or just... One.
Ugh c'mon One. You're being such a crank on Mother's Day.
The next floor contains 30 soldiers that need severe blunt force trauma. Is a chakram even sharp? I mean, obviously not given how crappy its damage output is but still... The thirty soldiers in the second arena come in the form of ten lancers and upgraded swordsman to fill out the rest of their ranks. Swordsmen are fine taking on with chakrams alone. But lancers can be an issue. Mostly due to the fact that.... yeah good luck in having enough damage output to successfully stun one while him and his buddies are making constant mad dashes at One.
Hmm... Just stay close for now. I can't have you running all over the place.
All right, One. I'll stay right beside you.
What's wrong, Sister? Did I misunderstand.
No. It's fine. That's just what I need.
Did our enemies send an assassin?! Who the hell is that woman!?
I don't know... But her strength is terrifying.
I'm hurt! Argh! Help me!
This can't be happening...
Brone is boring as hell as a companion. There is relief incoming next mission there may be a second companion that is a lot more fun to have around for the ride. Let's just grit our teeth and finish this slog first.
First, we defeat the cruel lords who rule these lands.
And once we've defeated them?
Then the people suffering under their reign will be saved.
And once they're saved?
Then we'll find a reason to live.
The final combat arena has One and One taking on a whopping sixty soldiers. Many of whom have learned advanced wall clipping techniques and ninjutsu in order to stealthily ambush the pair from behind when they are not looking. Or alternatively PFFT! You think this game can render sixty enemies at once without crapping the bed and making a PS3 burst into flames? Ha! Access Games used dark magics to make the Unreal Engine 3 look and run like complete janky crap from circa 2007.
Gameplay wise this last room is a total awful clusterfuck featuring about 20 lancers, a handful of archers, more swordsmen than you can shake a stick at, and suicide bombers from Accord's Requests thrown in just for funsies. Which is all just a grand time with a chakram flailing around and being stuck in overly long attack animations. The suicide bombers are especially great since they spawn instantly behind you and the ticking of their bombs can get lost in the shuffle of battle cries or inane soldier banter.
Then what? Do we get to be queen?
No, nothing like that. There's a task I need to finish.
What task is that, Sister?
I have to kill Zero.
Zero? Who's Zero?
You'll find out soon, whether you want to or not. Just stay close to me, all right? Be my shadow.
All right, One. I'm happy to be your shadow.
Let's see if you still feel that way in the end.
Nearly six dozen dead soldiers later...
We're going to be killing a lot of people now, aren't we?
Is that a problem?
No. As long as you're with me, it's fine.
One, this is around the part where you ought to tell your newly birthed doppelganger to maybe not start a doomsday murder cult or form an evil empire if you should bite the dust. I feel like you really dropped the ball on that one.
That takes care of the first mission of One's DLC. But before we take a break there are a few things to mention. First up is rewards. Like most Drakengard 3 stages there are three hidden chests scattered in most of maps which our Intoner sister of choice can unlock to add loot to Zero's war chest back in the main game. That's very considerate of them. While there are no new weapons to be found in DLC chests. Instead, there's almost always at least one rare weapon building material. Barring that there is always...
...a SHIT LOAD of gold to be plundered. The Prologues DLC is far and away the most efficient way to earn gold. For reference 30,000 G has been the highest single payout we've gotten thus far hitting every chest up through the first ending path. With the listings in Accord's weapon shop starting to go upward of 40,000 G a pop. DLC missions have huge paydays and when a chapter is completed you can earn even MORE money replaying earlier missions.
But that's a story for another day.
Video: One's Prologue Verse 1 Highlight Reel
One's Brother Official Art