Part 75: Episode LV: In Which We Disband an Intoner Fan ClubEpisode LV: In Which We Disband an Intoner Fan Club
It's a new day! A new chapter! A new way to spend our hard earned cash on mail order crap for absurd mark-ups to feel marginally better about our miserable lives! For surviving the trials of the desert of infinite aggravation, Accord now has two new items in her shop both clocking in at 60,300 Gold a pop.
Imperial Fang posted:
The sword of a man once called the Holy Emperor. Effective vs. undead.
Weapon Size: Medium
The warming breath of green granted fortune to all.
The shining azure flow gave blessings to all.
Flowers bloomed. Life teemed. It was a land of promise.
Countless great forces waged war over the land, troubling
and trampling its bounties. Soon, mounts of mangled
corpses replaced the blessings of earlier, better days.
Time passed. Trees grew over the bodies, and soon the cries
of war were replaced with softly babbling brooks. Only a
lone sword planted in the ground spoke of the terrible past.
The young king drew the sword from the earth. I claim this
beautiful land for my own! he said. Will the cycle begin anew?
...Alas, I must save that story for another time.
Trivia time! Did you know swords buried in soil when not in use actually become 13% sharper for every year they remain undisturbed? It's just plain science at work!
Vidofnir's Blade posted:
A compact chakram modeled after the feathers of the bird Vidofnir.
Weapon Size: Small
Once, there were two brother roosters. The elder was
courageous and bore strong, sharp claws, while the
younger was extremely quick-witted and intelligent.
One day, the gods gathered the birds of the world and said,
I shall grant the right to rule to the bird who ascends the
World Tree. And with that, the birds were off.
The winged birds flew up, but were burned by the sun.
The clawed birds climbed up, but were consumed by snakes.
Only the roosters, working together, managed to reach the top.
Fight! said one of the gods. Only one of you may rule!
But the brothers leapt at the god and removed his head.
And there they sit still, feasting upon his entrails atop the tree.
Oh man! Now there are some birds I'd rather hang out over these other idiots.
Cent has once more mysteriously abandoned Two well before his Intoner has been marked off the hit list. On top of that, Mikhail has caught a magical nasty cold that has caused him to devolve back to his Level 1 busta form. Let's take this downtime to see where everyone is at in this tertiary timeline. I suppose we ought to see how Cent is doing after that whole heel turn and killing a third of the party last go around.
I had some kind of role with her. Like a servant. Or perhaps a butler.
Or a... disciple, maybe?
Weeeeeell, I suppose you could kind of, sort of... maybe say that?
Where is Lady Two now?
How on earth would I know? I last saw her in the desert ruins, buuuut... goodness, that was ages upon ages ago.
Why'd you leave her?
Oh, you know! Every bird has to soar from the cage of iniquity and... things.
I don't understand half the crap you say.
Goodness. I haven't uttered the name "Lady Two" in quite some time...
In this timeline at least Cent remembers Two but just... sort of doesn't give a shit? I'm sure that won't come up again in the future. Anyway, Octa. How are things hanging now that you're not hanging out with Lady Animengele?
Not now, Octa. I've got a headache.
Oh ho! No, my lady--for once, my thoughts are elsewhere. This time... I have a feeling Mikhail has been cursed.
You think a curse is responsible for his devolution?
Son of a... Then who's the bastard responsible?
Well, lemme think... Hmmm... HMMMM... Oh, I dunno. Maybe... THE INTONER WE'VE BEEN TRYING TO KILL!?
Twooo... I'm gonna crush her!
Now, now, even I take a break from fleshly pursuits from time to time.
Sure, fine. We'll add dragon curses to the list of Intoner song magic abilities. Why not? So Dito... You seem to be getting increasingly salty with each timeline. What's your take on things?
There is no need for such cruelty, Dito.
Am I back to being useless?
Not at all. You just need rest.
Bleh. You're makin' me puke over here! Empty sympathy like that just ends up making people feel worse.
I was freezin' to death earlier, but did anyone worry about ol' Dito? Noooooo...
Dito, shut the fuck up! SHUT THE FUCK UP! You are invincible AI of zero consequence to gameplay. You did not suffer that previous chapter at all. I don't want to hear it. Cent, if he keeps this bitching up you're allowed to kill him again. Bah. Decadus, you're not usually a little shit. How are you faring?
The situation with poor Mikhail...
I feel for you, my lady. I will do all in my power to save Mikhail.
Yeah, you're alright when not on a loop of warning prompts. Speaking with the resident Digimon will begin the next mission. So let's get on top of that.
Quit apologizing. If you feel bad about it, just get better.
O-Okay. I want to be better, Zero. Better and stronger. I really do. I hate being weak like this... I just want to protect you, Zero. I really, really hate this!
...Go to sleep.
I'm sorry. ...I'm really sorry.
Five seconds later...
It's time to go.
Very well. We must find Lady Two as soon as we can.
You stay here and rest.
I'm sorry, everyone.
Oh ho! What is there for you to apologize for?
You know, now that you mention it... Trivia time! Did you know apologies were once known as "the false gold of sinners"?
Yeah, yeah. Just shut up, would you? Come on, Zero, let's get outta here.
Verse 2: Ruinous Descent
Music: Corroscience - Battleground
I wasn't kidding around when I said we were going to do the entirety of the Land of Sands backwards for the first half of this chapter. Cuz that is exactly what is happening here. Zero and the gang are now going to retrace their steps from the ambush point where the sand ogres once chopped off Zero's arm back through the underground ruins.
As luck would have it, the night shift has clocked in for their shift just in time to relieve the corpses of the day crew and give Zero a whole new legion of stormtrooper idiots to tear through for the encore appearance. The precarious path leading to the inner ruins is once more lousy with archers, assorted wizards, a mountain of standard troops, and deadly cliffs for the disciples' AI to run off again and again.
Easy, Z. It ain't like they're just gonna hand her over to us.
Then we're just gonna have to take her!
Look out! It's Zero!
To think an Intoner could be so vile...
It's Zero! Damn her to hell.
She's horrifying! Nothing like our Lady Two.
No retreat! How would we ever face Lady Two?
Dammit... You're going down!
Don't worry about position. Just fight!
Lady Zero, I'm sensing something from Mikhail.
Crap. Did he keel over already?
No, but he is struggling. I fear he is near his limit.
All men! Forward! Fight for your very lives! Yaaaarrrrgh!
How can this demon be an Intoner?!
A false Intoner?!
Who knows. Just be careful.
That woman is a disgrace to Lady Two and everything she stands for.
Many, many dead Two loyalists later...
At the far end of the chasm, the interior of the ruins has been altered a bit to now require a mandatory bit of platforming over a bottomless pit. Drakengard 3 platforming. The mosquito bite of gameplay segments.
What's that supposed to mean?
Nothing! It's just... I know how you feel about these types of situations...
Here we go again...
This may not be the wisest course of action...
Relax. I got this.
Please reconsider, my lady. None would think lesser of you.
Enough already! I said I got this! What kind of an idiot do you take me for!?
The desert retread of this branch tries to be cute in lampshading the fact we're doing the same repetitive bullshit gameplay mechanics and tiresome enemy encounters again and again in what is clearly just filler gameplay padding missions. That was kind of funny early on back in Mount Whatever, Drakengard 3. But you set off entirely on the wrong foot from the word "go" this chapter with that first mission being the rehash of the worst level of the run of missions. It's not working anymore, game. This is just a crappy stretch that has no reason to exist. Pointing out that it is a crappy stretch of gameplay and laughing at yourself does not excuse the fact it is not a good time. Knock it off!
After the short platforming challenge and peanut gallery pointing out
All that jumpin' around was driving me crazy. I'm a lot better at slashing people to death.
So Brute Trolls. There's a very good reason why they slipped my memory. I mean they have this black, spiky Shadow the Hedgehog-esque new look and with it... all the numbers in their stats got turned up by about double. That's it. Literally no difference other than hitting harder and more HP. And I think they show up... maybe once more the entire game after this encounter? Twice tops.
I know, it's weird I had such a lapse in memory. I'm sorry if I'm coming off negative. I promise some interesting stuff happens the last two missions of this chapter. It is just the first three missions are all<starts making farting noise with mouth and drooling>
I need you to think, okay? Where's Two? What's her weakness? You've gotta know something. Come on! Chop chop!
Eh... Give me a moment, will you? Even someone with a massive brain like me needs time to process things, you know?
You've got two seconds. After that, I start kicking balls.
Ease up, Zero. Everyone knows the fastest way to beat Two is to beat up Cent. Or just let Decadus handle it. He did... alright last go around. Regardless of details, there's a whole lot of men between us and the exit and boy are they chatty about their beloved Lady Two.
The city is Lady Two's fortress. It must be protected at all costs!
Hehehe. Ha ha ha! Lady Twooo... I see her!
Snap out of it! You're hallucinating!
The unclean must never be allowed to set foot in the Cathedral City.
Indeed! How dare Lady Zero put herself on equal footing with Lady Two!
As long as Lady Two is there for me I desire nothing else!
Bow before Lady Two, false Intoner!
Yeah. They're turning into a bunch of fanatics.
A person's belief system can often push them over the brink.
Fight for Lady Two! Our leader is the savior of all mankind!
You! Where's your equipment?
Fear not! Lady Two is my sword! Lady Two is my shield! The winds of Lady Two shall blow like a righteous hurricane!
These guys are fuckin' weird.
You said it!
'Course, who am I to talk? Look at you guys.
Keep your equipment, men! Stay in formation.
Man down! Man down over here!
The moment of judgment is here! Lady Two sees and knows all!
Look out! Wounded soldier here!
Right... Look, it's the night shift crew. They're always a little weird. I'm sure the whole fanaticism about Lady Two is just a result of that. Nothing to worry about. It's not like soldiers being affected by her warped song magic resulted in a minor zombie holocaust or anything in the past.
A bit of murder and platforming later...
The final challenge of the area is a duo of golem. I... We did this the first time through here! A dozen missions ago back when multiple golems were a new challenge. And even then it was just the mid-level fight not even the main event! Goddammit, is the "Branch C" for the C Team at Access Games that worked on this part?!
I wish I could burn these ruins and everyone in them.
Oh ho ho! Always impulsive... Still, I understand. You must be worried for your dragon.
I am no such thing!
Oh shut up, Zero. You devised a magical concept that fundamentally changed the mechanics of the world for a couple centuries to come to save your big dumb baby dragon from dying last time around. You're not fooling anybody at this point with your uncaring act.
Nor are partner golems putting up any sort of challenge. You'd think golems at least would get an upgraded form. Maybe one with a sweet flame decal painted on the side?
Once the two golems fall a series of floating platforms emerge from the abyss below to create a safe passage to the level's exit. The commute to work for the Land of Sands soldiers in the morning is a real nightmare, I tell ya.
Yet we've heard the soldiers speak of the Cathedral City many times.
Cathedral City... That must be where One is.
Well, I'm pretty sure it's common knowledge One hangs out in Notspain. But I thought we were still after Two here? Ugh, Zero. Focus! Focus...
...on getting the hell out of this region because these bad missions are killing me! At least Three's bad missions were like ten minutes long and had a little bit of amusing dialogue. That was twenty five minutes of my life I'm never getting back!
Video: Branch C Verse 2 Highlight Reel