Part 60: Episode XLII: In Which We Find Out Where Three Has Been Misappropriating State FundingEpisode XLII: In Which We Find Out Where Three Has Been Misappropriating State Funding
The divergence triggered by the singularity known as Zero has led to a wide range of observed anomalies.
The forest has changed, and its foes are more violent.
Furthermore, the singularity known as Two, and her disciple, Cent, and now acting independently of one another.
M3240_E0010QV: Begin Recording.
...Zero and company have been dicking around in this poison forest for NINETEEN DAYS since the timeline split with Octa?! What the hell, guys? Is there a Zero mandated five day break between missions? Sheesh. Well, let's not waste any time seeing what's up with these layabouts.
Countin' all the bad stuff in this forest. We got poison... We got the undead... We got trolls... We got titans... This is hardly my idea of a good time.
I thought you enjoyed killing ugly things. Figured you'd be happy as a pig in shit right now.
There's something... I don't know, man. There's just something wrong about this place.
You forgot centaurs, Dito. And spirits. And skull knights... not even the cool Berserk kind. Just shitty Chinese knock-offs. This place really is the pits. Your feelings, Decadus...?
Right? It's making me feel all sick and stuff.
Indeed. I am wracked with discomfort as well.
...Such terrible... beautiful discomfort... Nnnngh....Ah!
Uh oh. There he goes.
The end of the world may be nigh, and yet we sit here wracked with inaction... Ohhhh, how I love to be frustrated so!
The end of the world is a bit much. You idiots have been in a poison filled forest for two and a half weeks... You should... maybe just, I dunno, leave! I know this is supposed to be a murder road trip, but this is like starting on the east coast and getting lost in West Virginia for three weeks on day three. Sure it was going to be a fun cross-country adventure, but at some point you've got to call the ordeal a wash and move on with your lives.
Hey, Mikhail. Can you fly us the hell out of here or what?
Don't butt in on things you don't understand.
Hey, come on! I wanna talk about important-sounding stuff too!
I just want to know what's going on.
...Guess not. Octa? You seem somewhat sensible when you're not coming up with, admittedly creative, synonyms for your junk.
Oh, I feel something all right! Something in my trousers!
...Besides that. Dito said he felt something... weird going on around here.
Oh. That. Well, yes, the world does seem a tad out of balance. Though that could just be all the blood that's currently rushing from my head!
Perhaps a brief ride on my hobby horse would help make me right again. What do you say?
Like guys, this forest is definitely in a bad way but this ain't my first Drakengard apocalypse rodeo and this calamity ain't it. For one, the sky hasn't turned into a chaotic red swirling nightmare like Van Gogh had a seizure. The sky shattering was like one of the only cool parts of Drakengard 2. The draw distance gone to shit and that filter from turning on the anti-BOW gas in Birkin's Labs in Resident Evil 2 is not the same thing.
Well, Accord's intermission did mention Cent doing his own thing being a big anomaly and he is the mission start trigger. So...
She has short blue hair and mischievous eyes. I think she's... looking at me.
Sounds like Two.
Two? Hmm. So that's Two, is it?
That's odd. Why can't I get her face out of my mind?
So what do we do now?
Go deeper into the forest. There is no other choice.
We need to find Lady One or Lady Three as soon as possible.
Maybe we can find 'em both at once. That'll certainly make things easier.
Verse 4: Three's Voice
Music: Wilderblades - Battleground
Wait... I remember this gate and area. We're back in Three's puzzle box zone. How did you band of fools make it to the beginning of the Chapter 3 Verse 2 area and end up leaving the Verse 6... You know what? I don't even care. Carry on...
Statues of Lady Three, it would seem.
She never did make any goddamn sense.
This time around gone are the Gargoyle Cubes containing Three's "riddles" floating about the region. Instead, they have been replaced with statues in the form of Zero's dear sister Three. I see where the funding for the air pollution initiatives in the Land of Forests was reallocated. What are we to do with such no doubt expensive works of art?
It's Drakengard 3. We smash 'em all until the next door opens. What? Did you think this game was going to start getting deep with its mechanics now...? Pfft. Time to work out some aggression.
This go around necromancers are dotting the area. Their lot are actually taking their jobs seriously for a change and summoning the undead into the area. And alongside the necromancers are a few wandering spirits that just so happen to love possessing dried bones. We cannot have any of that nuisance while attempting to crush valuable art pieces into bits. So it is best to do a full cleansing of the area anything associated with the afterlife or those dabbling in the practice of summoning from beyond the void.
Once all rude deadite interlopers are dealt with, the state mandated demolition of public works can begin. Pounding on the statues with just about anything will do the trick. I like combat bracers since it's just fun to kick a statue to death.
One Three statue shattered later...
Ugh. Like I need this nonsense right now.
Two Three statues out of four shattered...
What's that mean, huh? What's it mean?
Don't worry about it. I doubt it means anything.
Three Three statues turned to dust...
It's going to turn out the forest isn't poisoned. Three has just been a space cadet all this time because she's just really, REALLY baked at all times. It... would explain an awful lot, honestly.
Four Three statues destroyed so we can move forth...
Blue runs through the sands. A one-armed rabbit chases a future lizard.
Have you any reaction to these poems, my lady?
I'm tired of this shit. How's that?
Well, you're in luck Zero. That's all of 'em for this area! Carry on, just past the troll filled path for...
...Another arena with a quartet of nonsensical poem spouting Three statues to shatter into dust. Were you expecting more? Remember this is a re-purposed chakram tutorial map. It was like a three minute jog from end-to-end if there were no faux-puzzles.
Gone this go around are the necromancers and their undead brood. Instead it is an infinitely spawning supply of wolves. At least I think they're infinitely spawning. I know I killed at least six or seven Alpha Wolves (you know the ones that summon lesser whelps) and another would still spawn in to replace it 30 seconds later all the way up until the mission end.
Pieces of shit need to hurry up and die!
Pieces of shit? Sooo predictable. Maybe try pus-encrusted boils next time?
...Can I swap you guys out for a new party?
You could, Zero. But it would be like Drakengard 2 where the one competent person with the good weapon type is gone 95% of the game and the other vaguely sort of likable idiot would die two chapters later and you'd be left with the other biggest moron with the worst skillset the rest of the time. Such is Drakengard's lot.
Anyway, down to some statue clobberin'. There's no commentary by Zero and the gang as we go all sledgehammer on these relics, so...
(Statue 2): Dance. Dance! The fiery embers dance up to the promised land.
(Statue 3): The visions in your mind are but phantoms. They soar and return to the grave.
(Statue 4): The swallow's breath becomes a shackle, burying twin strawberries in the world's depths.
Four piles of rubble later...
The nimble dog arises from the underworld, sounding a drumbeat from the grass...
You just HAD to ask, didn't you, Zero?
The final challenge of this mission is another Gray Cerberus with an unlimited supply of back-up wolves just being a general irritation to the whole process of killing a repeat mid-boss. I know I, for one, love trash enemies during big baddie battles. All the way back to Final Fight having a Jake and Dug there to support Damnd really upped the stakes of the conflict.
The wolves alone have shown up as trash mobs several times in the forest. I just haven't bothered to mention them since it's been boiled down to "So there was a pack of wolves between here and the next thing. They died. The end." It appears the poison gas has just made them breed even faster.
A particularly ugly and horrid example of the species.
So long as it dies like all the rest, I'm good.
Zero! Hey, Zero! You're in luck!
It totally does! I know they're trying to convey the forest is a lot more dangerous with endgame enemies of the original branch showing up in what is essentially Chapter 3. But it doesn't really work out all that well mechanically gameplay wise when it's really just a repeated fight but now there are extra enemies but our character is also stronger as well.
Regardless, with the oversized guard dog defeated the gate it defended opens up for the party. That's how security systems work, right?
And would you look who is greeting us at the door. I'm glad we didn't fall into some quasi-alternate timeline during Chapter 2 with an additional seven missions of chasing after Four's muppet ass.
Alright, Three. Let's finally have a proper Intoner vs. Intoner showdo--
...AND WE HAVE A WINNER!
Zero... I screwed up... I invited One to the forest... so I could kill her, but...
She's... Be careful... Guuh...
Dito runs over to check on Three...
Is she dead?
<shakes body> She's totally dead!
What the hell is going on here?
Hell if I know! But on that puzzling note we end the mission.
But that's not all. As I mentioned at the outset of Branch B, the affinity of our disciples can now be raised by dragging them along to four complete missions. Doing so unlocks their secondary weapon gift. And it just so happens we hit mission number four with Decadus here. Let's take a look at the tribute to his Intoner.
Captain's Guard posted:
Iron bracers left behind by a knight captain.
Weapon Size: Small
I have gladly pledged loyalty to the king across time.
No matter how hellish the fight or reckless the order,
I have risked all to protect king and country.
But the king has lost his life in battle. He was young,
a newly crowned lord, and left behind no descendants.
Who will I ever serve now?
Wailing over such things will achieve nothing.
My only job is to protect my country.
My only mission is to serve my king.
So I search. I search for a body to replace the long-
shattered muscle and bone that resided in this armor.
I search for a new king worthy of wearing me.
Why have they never made a medieval take on Weekend at Bernie's? It seems like it would write itself. Hell, I'm surprised they haven't remade Weekend at Bernie's yet. We seem to be in a full '80s recycling pattern for movies at the moment.
Cent has also been on the team for the duration of Branch B and has also grown fond of Zero in the ninteen days they've been wandering aimlessly around a poison gas drenched forest. And this gift...
Cries and Whispers posted:
The sword used by the disciple Cent.
Weapon Size: Medium
Seriously? You don't even know how to use this sword?
Now that's just pathetic. It couldn't possibly be easier.
Even little ol' me can spin this thing around!
A disciple at my level has more than strength, you know.
He has enough bewitching beauty to make his enemies swoon.
Looks like it's working on you, too! Hah!
Money really does make the world go 'round, doesn't it?
I should know, given the vast fortune I command.
...Not that they let me use it yet. Lord knows why.
Hm? Is there anything more important in life than beauty,
strength, and money...? Hah! What a kidder you are!
I mean, do you even need to ask?
Cent, your boastful game is for the birds.
Hey, right. Before we go, it's time to update that tally sheet from the beginning of Branch B!
Who lives? Who dies? Who knows! Tune in next time for the final mission of Branch B! ...Wait, WHAT?! Already?!
Video: Branch B Verse 4 Highlight Reel
Three Early Concept Art