Part 53: Episode XXXVII: This is a Story About Doppelganger on Doppelganger ViolenceEpisode XXXVII: This is a Story About Doppelganger on Doppelganger Violence
Hey, nice of them to set the final mission on my little brother's birthday. I haven't even tried to murder that squirt recently! On the other hand, kind of a dick move sending Brone all the way back to Notspain for a time-out only to have him march back clear across the continent a half week later. I know he's supposed to be getting training but that seems unnecessarily harsh.
...what it is we desire.
Verse 4: The Trials Ahead
Music: Pulchregeist - Battleground
We rejoin the Wonderful One-double-One back in the Land of Forests' "Forest of Trials". Which is really just "The Lost Forest" of Zero's Chapter 3: Verse 5 prior to Three mucking it up with creepy baby dolls and Nintendo 64 levels of vision obscuring fog. Before we delve deeper into the woods, Gabriella wants to chat the twins up a bit.
There's some kind of power preventing me from entering the forest. How clever!
So be it. You wait here, Gabriella.
What? Wait, you're going in there by yourselves?
There's no need to worry, Gabriella. I can keep my sister safe.
Oh, I'm not worried, pal. Especially not about you!
We'll try to go as far in as we can.
<sigh> Just be careful.
The short path to our ultimate goal has a few ghouls, ghosts, and imps all filming highly disappointed One chased off all the soldiers earlier and they have no one to play Arthur for their Super Ghouls and Ghosts fan film. One is kind of a spoil sport that way.
A couple dead imps later because they simply must be murdered in all appearances... They're just the worst!
It looks normal enough to me.
Tsk-tsk, One. You've had half a month with this muppet clone brother and you haven't taught him basic rules of video game etiquette such as to avoid assuming an empty area is innocuous just because a boss hasn't shown up within five seconds. Next the fool will declare "it's finally over" after seemingly eliminating a threat and spontaneously trigger the boss' second form or a self destruct sequence. You've brought whatever may come on yourself.
Uhh... Alright? Zero's new Halloween costume is a bit premature to be sporting in mid-August and is frankly lacking in the effort department.
How lucky! Meeting Zero so soon, I mean.
Yes. Too lucky, in fact.
Look closer. This is a fake.
Music: Prevolt - Battleground
And so we begin our battle with the final boss of One's Prologue: False Zero. They took Zero's model from the Prologue proper, slapped a big black + sign with a winking emoji on it and called it a day. Yeah... Like I said earlier: One's Prologue is very overall.
I don't know. Perhaps there's some magic here that reads our minds and brings our thoughts into being.
One thing's for sure... If we can't beat the fake, we'll never defeat the real thing.
It seems this really is a forest of trials.
Unlike most character action games, the human one-on-one (plus braindead AI helper) is more often than not an underwhelming affair in Drakengard 3. False Zero is no exception. Her moveset is identically to stock prologue playable Zero armed with her default sword. She has a basic quick attack combo that can lead into a strong stamina attack. She has the ability to dodge evade and can actually dodge-cancel an attack string which puts her AI a bit above most. Though not to give the AI too much praise, as False Zero has an upward slice that will knock One into the air and onto her ass if it connects. But no follow up other than swinging at the air beneath One's flailing body afterward.
False Zero is also not bad at blocking and even parrying One's chakrams. Mostly since the damn things attack so slowly and it's easy for even this AI to punish attempting any sort of combo with them instead of single attacks and dodge-canceling into another single attack. But the fake Intoner big sister has no idea what to do about repeated chakrams tossed at her face from a distance.
One can pop off Intoner mode and it is better to do so sooner rather than later. False Zero won't immediately retaliate with her own Intoner mode like when Zero rumbled with her sisters in the the core game Prologue. The word "Prologue" is starting to lose its meaning after typing the word so many times...
But that's not to say the bootleg Zero lacks an Intoner mode equivalent of her own. However, instead of a Devil May Cry's Devil Trigger-esque power/speed boost, we are instead treated with this boss' primary gimmick. After False Zero hits 2/3rds health she'll become permanently coated in blood and gain a special faux-Intoner Mode ability.
There's too many of them!
It's like a big festival of Zeroes.
I don't really see the point to this. I'm not even scared of them anymore.
Good. I'm glad you're no longer scared of Zero. Let's get moving.
When activated, the already limited arena will close off into an even smaller circle forming an invisible barrier. With it comes the solitary Zero clone splitting into five copies who all draw their swords at attention and begin circling the One siblings. We now have to play a game of striking the real False Zero. Well as real as this battle gets anyway. The first few times Zero pulls this trick spotting the genuine article is pretty darn simple. You see there's four Zero clones that just look like normal everyday False Zero.
And there is one of 'em that looks like they just stepped out of the end of Carrie... Now guess which one ought to be attacked!
If you picked the one having an awfully pricey dry-cleaning bill then ding-ding-ding! You got it. There's even a happy correct "ding!" in-game for guessing correctly. Go you! Gold star Sister One! Worth a mention that they thankfully just disable Brone's ability to attack during these sequences. It would be a touch unfair to the player if the AI controlled moron ran up to the nearest doppelganger and fucked you over for attacking it straight away.
After the correct Faux-Zero is attacked, the copies will evaporate and Zero will resume her normal attack pattern for a bit of time allowing her to be damaged again.
After a couple rounds of unsuccessfully fooling One with her illusions, False Zero will wise up to the error of her cloning ways and produce four additional copies that are all blood soaked apparitions. At a glance, this could seem tricky. Especially given the initially zoomed out camera. But don't fret. It's not too bad.
Though I suppose I should mention what happens if One does fuck up her selection of targets to attack. Just because a fake Zero made even faker copies of herself doesn't mean they're just smoke and mirrors. Whack the wrong Zero mole and...
ALL the clone Zero's will turn EXTREMELY pissed and go into an utter frenzy bum rushing and kicking the piss out of One for thirty seconds straight. Probably a good thing for One's sake the Forest of Trials clones are armed with cheap knockoff fake imitations Zero's dragon fang Intoner wrecking sword. Or else this whole thing could be a very ignoble end for the lead Intoner sister.
I'm sure Zero would be disappointed to come hunting for One only to discover that she wandered off for a walk in the woods one day and ended up dismembered under mysterious circumstances. Also she had apparently mutated and grown two extra sets of body parts and a dick somehow. That'd be one for the headlines, even in Drakengard's universe...
Anyway, spotting the real Zero: While at a glance they all look to be the same blood-drenched model. We've got about twenty seconds to go take an up close look at each of the copies for a closer inspection.
This time around we're not looking for the messy outfit. Instead... check out the remarkably clean and pristine swords they're all wielding despite the gore and viscera caking their bodies. That is...
...except for one of them that has failed to maintain proper tool maintenance procedures. Tsk-tsk False Zero. You're going to get it all rusty leaving it out like that.
Or more importantly, your ruse will be foiled and this silly boss battle ended.
Well there's a couple of buffoons that better hope that Intoner mode can get grass stains out of white outfits as well as it can blood.
Was that all just a dream?
Well that was a big dopey waste of everyone's time. It's not like either of you two even went on to properly fight Zero in the end! Bah... Oh well. We have one last campfire scene for a debrief with Brone and Gabriella before this chapter comes to a close.
Yeah, I know. That's the fourth time you told me.
I sure wasn't expecting all those Zeroes in one place...
Lemme guess: You were ready to piss yourself at first, but watching your sister slice through 'em like butter gave you the courage to nut up and fight.
...Sound about right?
Wow, Gabriella! How did you know all of that?
Because... you've TOLD ME FOUR TIMES!
<To One> Can't you yell at him or hit him or something? He won't shut up.
I think it's time for you to get some rest.
Yes, I suppose I am a little tired. Perhaps we should hit the hay, Sister.
Gabriella does not give a crap if you're barely over two weeks old. Just fuck off, Brone. Just fuck off! You're as bad as Nowe! Ugh!
Speaking of Gabriella...
But you didn't see a sorcerer, did you?
No. Probably cursed to death by this own creation or the like.
Hmm... And it whipped up an entire army of Zeroes for you, huh? You must really hate that girl, don't you?
They were weak. All of them. Just a bunch of flimsy knockoffs. The real Zero was nothing like that at all. She's strong. Much stronger than I could ever hope to--
Oh, come on! How about giving you and that brother of yours some credit for a change? Sure, you're not the strongest in the world or anything, but you're getting better. Both of you are.
Honestly, I thought you were going to bite the big one back in that forest.
I feared much the same outcome, but I managed to survive. And it was because of him.
Looks like someone's not so alone anymore.
I just hope we can have more little moment like today.
Meaning, if my brother and I work harder, that will take some of the burden away from you, Gabriella.
Burden!? You, burdening ME!? Ha! Don't make me laugh!
You think we dragons get all worked up because of what some GIRL asks us to do? I'LL decide whether it's a burden or not. Got it? And I'll also decide how long I hang around with you guys. I'm the boss of my own fate. Always have been, always will be. I don't need some human holding anything back on my account!
Shut your pie hole! You really must be tired if you're spouting crap like that. Get some sleep already.
After the battle, the exhausted siblings fell fast asleep.
Feeling their weight upon her, the dragon reflected...
"This human is clever. She'll soon uncover the mistake this world made."
Though the dragon considered the pair to be a right royal pain, she didn't attempt to disturb their slumber.
She let them remain just as they were, all throughout the long, long night...
And thus concludes One's Prologue DLC and the first of the six total prologues. And as far as Brother One goes, that's the last time we'll ever see him involved with anything in the gameplay or plot departments of Drakengard 3 ever again. Brone still has a novella I'll post at a later date. But that weird little fucker is kicked to the curb forever otherwise. We will, on the other hand, see more of Gabriella in three of the other Intoner Sisters Prologues down the road. So look forward to that!
But that's a story for another day...
Remember how I talked about the DLC being a big money maker? Just in that final chapter alone a chest that was virtual impossible to miss (it was literally right outside the boss door and a glowing orange checkpoint glyph) yielded a whopping 250,000 payout. To put that into perspective, unlocking EVERY SINGLE CHEST in Chapters 1-5 in Zero's campaign only yielded 160,000 Gold. That one solitary chest was fucking 90,000 more than the entirety of the gold from chests thus far. And that's not even bringing up the early missions having payouts of upward of 100,000 G chests as well.
If that's not enough for you...
Now that the prologue chapter has been completed, replaying a couple missions will now yield the same golden money filled pinata soldiers from the Accord's Request payday missions. No cool down period or anything. You can just go replay a mission and get the best money vs. time spent payout from the core game. So really, if any of you lunatics that actually Platinum games are going for it with Drakengard 3... you're already with a few screws loose. Just drop $6 on your favorite Intoner sister and save a good five or six hours of money grinding.
Completing a Prologue DLC campaign chapter also unlocks that Intoner sister's unique weapon for Zero back in the core game. Very kind donation to the murder road trip effort. I probably won't use 'em too much since they're kind of overpowered compared to the fairly steady natural weapon ramping up in the main game. But that doesn't mean we cannot take a look at 'em.
They do come with a (very short, very half-assed) Weapon History, after all...
One's Chakram posted:
The chakram used by the Intoner, One.
Weapon Size: Large
I am the first. And as my name suggests... I should have been the only.
My foolish sister invites destruction, and I will give her a suitably foolish end. Our mission is to guide this world, to move it down the correct path.
I know what I hoped for. What I lost. What I took. What I sought. I knew that I would soon gain full knowledge of the song that courses through me.
But is that really true? How can I be sure that everything we know is correct?
Like I said repeatedly. One's Prologue...
There is one last reason to replay through One's Prologue (or any of the Intoner sisters) on your own time besides a payday. The Intoner sisters can raise their levels up to a maximum of Level 10 in the DLC. Which takes roughly two total playthroughs to accomplish. Each of the 9 additional Level-ups unlocks a "Memories of the Intoners" chapter from the intermission menu. Memories of the Intoners are akin to ehh... Let's say the Files from the Resident Evil games. There's a blast from the past! Remember when I LPed that series eight years ago? Yeah it's been eight years! Crazy! Time marches on and will crush you all!
We'll take a look at One's Memories of the Intoners. But that too is a story for another day...
Video: False Zero Boss Battle
Video: One's Prologue Verse 4 Highlight Reel
False Zero Concept Art