Part 4: Episode IV: In Which Caim Goes All Silent Protagonist on Us
Episode IV: In Which Caim Goes All Silent Protagonist on Us
Verse 8: Hate's Strength
Alright, this is pretty much the last time I'm going to talk much about gameplay mechanics because it is a depressing subject in a game which already has enough depressing subject matter to go around.
So, we're back to the castle area from the first gameplay section. Only this time we have a dragon. It is marginally more fun this time.
Much like the previous time we were here, there are some jackass enemy commanders that need to die because the Union is a magical army which only exists in the realm of FMVs and disembodied voice overs.
Now, riding the dragon during ground missions is pretty damn overpowered. Its only standard attack is barfing fireballs pretty much non-stop. Fireballs more or less one-shot anything they land on top of. Which would be pretty overpowered, if not sort of fun to do.
At least it would be.
Was it not for these cocksuckers. Scattered through the map are crossbowmen. Crossbowmen are the only thing which can hit Caim while he's on the dragon. And by hit him I mean headshot him from fifty yards away with pinpoint accuracy. Three shots from any crossbows bolts send Caim flying off his mount. And, of course, these bastards come in groups of three to four.
Which means any time an arrow sails near Caim, he must immediately dismount the dragon and go hunt down all the pricks in the area. And I said before they come in groups of three to four. They do. But they also come in three or four groups per section of the map. Needless to say, his gets very annoying very quickly. It's also worth mentioning that the crossbow guys suddenly lose their aimbot abilities when Caim is on foot. Funny thing, that.
Caim can jump thirty feet now. I thought I'd just throw that out there. For reference: Caim can usually only jump about four or five feet when running about. Too bad there is never a reason to jump in this game.
No, they want the sports section... Of course they want the friggin' goddess!! What conflict were you fighting in?!
Like before, the dragon's magic meter can be charged up by killing enemies. Considering enemies travel in packs, it fills up very quickly the few chances Caim isn't hopping off to kill jerks with arrows. Using it in ground stages causes Red to breathe fire like your standard issue dragon ought to. I'm not sure what is up with her Hadoken fireball tendencies in battle. But, I'm not going to question something as pedestrian as that. Though, speaking of which, fireballs also just randomly rain out of the sky during this attack. I guess regular streams of fire aren't flashy enough.
Anyhow, it's good to save this for groups of archers. Dashing to the middle of them and laying waste to the land can sometime save some headache. Well, other than the ten second long animation getting tiring after watching more than the one time.
After taking care of the commanders by the front gate...again...the Empire has re-enforcements show up. Which, one would think, would result in taking out a new group at the edge of the map, right? Na-ah.
All those yellow blips are new targets that must be taken out. Almost every other one comes with a group of archers.
Five minutes of tedium later.
"Lord Caaaaaaaaiiiiiimmmm! You are riding a dragon! Lord Caim! There is a dragon and you are riding it!"
"You don't employ the most intelligent of help, do you?"
I die a little bit inside each day...
Red is really not good as this whole looking down on humans thing.
...Broken through the front? What? Like they already did in the opening FMV? What battle are these retards watching? Is Return of the Jedi playing in some backroom of the castle? Is that what is happening here?!
Alright, let's just finish this grind. There is another new weapon in this area. As stated earlier, there are 65 weapons in the game total. You have to collect each and every last one to unlock the fifth and final ending to the game (Yes, there are five endings. Or more correctly, five alternate final scenarios.)
So, you know how the game just gave us that sweet golf club looking thing? Yeah, that was the last freebie. The rest exist in the unlockable realm of "I hope you have a FAQ sitting on your desktop".
For instance, for this new weapon we have to travel out to this random corner of the map and kill a small group of enemies hanging out there.
And a treasure box with appear from the ether to give us are sparkling new weapon. That was one of the less arbitrary ones. Stay tuned...
In any case, after killing all the primary targets Caim has to re-enter the castle. Again. And get around to saving his sister. Again. Granted, she I think the Empire probably ought to have raped, pillaged, and plundered everyone and everything in this joint by now but...oh well...
Here is our bounty from that slaughter in the previous stage.
It's not a bad little sword. And "conflagrate" is a fun word so it gets bonus points for vocab. But, none of you care about that. It's story time!
Bard is a goddamn playa.
Verse 9: Pact Price
Welcome back to the courtyard. I know you all missed its grandeur. This is an "Event" stage. Event stages are a bit of an oddball. They consist of short, rather pointless playable bits in an isometric camera angle for no readily apparent reason. Usually killing a few enemies, talking to someone, or just running to a certain area will trigger an in-game cutscene.
Here, just running across the courtyard ends the Event. But, why not slaughter a few jerks while we're at it?
Here is a better shot of that somewhat Engrishy message from where some very brave jackass decided to scribble in front of the fire breathing dragon.
Caim makes it to the entrance of the Castle.
Everyone! Quiet down! Caim has something to say.
...Any time now.
*insert the sound of crickets chirping. Evil crickets*
Oh right... Caim is now a mute. You see, going into a pact causes humans to lose an ability. The ability in question seems to be fairly random. Neither party has control over what is lost. But, a tattoo like rune will appear over the disabled body part. Some of the pact prices are...pretty fucking weird...
So, Caim is now a mute. This is not to say he can no longer communicate. Caim simply expresses himself in a new way:
"And by speak I mean make snide remarks demeaning to your allies."
Caim turns to enter the castle.
Since hanging out in the courtyard worked out so well for her last time.
Caim points his sword menacingly. I think that is Caim sign language for "Best not step, bitch". But I'm a bit rusty on my sword wielding sociopath sign.
"We share a bar of energy between us, if you will."
Caim will at no point live for anything but hatred.
The Pact Price