Part 31: Episode XXIX: In Which Leonard Wastes Everyone's Time
Episode XXIX: In Which Leonard Wastes Everyone's Time
It seems that shortcut through some narrow ravine heading south in Reverse-Poland exited somewhere in southern Flippedfrance.
Destruction, huh? There's been nothing but wanton Caim based death thus far. The Empire will have to have completed the Manhattan Project or something between chapters to impress me.
Verse 1: War
So, it seems the Union of Flippedfrance and the Empire of Notspain has assembled for a final battle. Well, alright then... Could have used a bit more notice but fine...
Hey... Wait... We've already seen this rubbish... Hold on a sec.
This looks about right...
Verse 8: Menace
We pick up back when Caim and Red attempted to board the Death Egg. Only, now that the game has been completed once, something new crops up.
Yeah... The spiffy thing about completing the game once is that all the sub characters actually exist now and contribute to the plot. Leonard has a few extra lines sporadically during this chapter. But, I'm not going to replay a mission just for a single line or two from Leonard. He basically mutters about seeing something. Despite the whole being blind thing, Leonard now apparently gets visions of distant events.
And due to this we are now given the new option of telling him to shove it and continuing to the Sky Fortress (i.e. progress the game as normal to Chapter 6). Or we can listen to his vision about Furiae being at this prior unknown Sea Fortress (i.e. skip on to Chapter 10.)
Well, let's dust off Leonard and give the guy's advice a shot.
It looks like this Sea Fortress is docked somewhere in the Bay of Yacsib. You'd think someone would have noticed.
Yeah, I really better clean that thing out. It looks like a cigarette butt graveyard. Thanks, Drakengard.
Verse 1: Barriers
The Empire is actually using a defensive strategy beyond "toss a shit load of cannons outside and hope for the best"? Color me surprised.
So, here we have the scenic sea fortress. It is...basically just the sky fortress but flipped upside down and floating. Well...I guess the random office buildings protruding from the base of the shell make a bit more sense in this configuration. Though...why do I get the feeling this was also intended to be an aerial platform and things went horribly awry?
This is a unique branching mission. The primary goal is to destroy all nine barrier towers powering the shield barring access to the fortress. Caim and Red have a four minute time limit to accomplish this goal. If they do so before the four minute limit, things will progress in a branch toward Chapter 11. If they fail to do so, then a path branching back toward Chapter 7 will come to pass. We're going to be doing the latter for this playthrough.
The number of paths where Furiae doesn't die? Zero.
Here we have one of the barrier generator towers. They're armed with triple shooting homing rockets for their defense. However, said rockets move slowly and only last for maybe four seconds before petering out. Just stay around the range Red is located above will the player in the clear to blast the things with little worry of retaliation.
I dunno... I'm not buying it. I think it's just a fancy island.
"They had a flying fortress earlier. You accepted that, did you not?"
Well, yeah. But I SAW that thing was flying. I can't see the bottom of this dumb thing. I could just be a cay or something. It's not even moving anywhere. I could stick a couple of huts on some island too. You don't see me proclaiming it is Neptune's Keep.
"Your belief system baffles me sometimes..."
What the hell was that?!
"I believe it was Arioch."
Who the hell was that?
"Arioch. The elf woman."
"Back in the Imperial Gaol. In the desert."
"Has a taste for child murder."
Oh! That crazy broad that tried to bite me? The hell is she doing here?
"She's been with us ever since that encounter."
Who the hell's idea was that? Was it Verdelet? God, I hate that guy.
"It was yours, Caim."
I've got to start paying more att-Oh! Look at those boats! Let's torch 'em.
Here we have a new enemy: The Imperial Navy. They come in two flavors: tiny little attack ships with four cannons and huge battle ships with six cannons. The latter isn't in this verse, though. Like all Imperial ships, destroy all its cannons will defeat it.
In this stage I discovered that Red actually has a dive-bombing animation I'd never noticed. If she goes high enough and then flies in a downward arc, she'll rocket glide at twice the speed of normal. There...really isn't any point to this that I can tell. But it's sort of nifty looking, I suppose. At least, I wish there was a way to do it while flying normally instead of mashing X constantly for one second long boosts of speed.
I also noticed they programmed this stage a bit wonky. Mostly, apparently when they figured out they could use the vertical space of a stage back in Chapter 8...they then decided to throw that functionality into the rest of the chapters they made. Too bad the game's engine shits itself since they clearly put the upper limit way too high and the sea fortress becomes a blinking nightmare and most of the enemies' models vanish from the ground from being out of range. Fun times.
That didn't make a lick of sense... But I still somehow prefer it to hearing Verdelet.
Eight minutes of blowing up towers later...
Unfortunately, since we took too long...we're going to have to do this verse again. Sort of...
Verse 2: Ark
So basically, since we've taken too long in the previous stage, a nearby navy armada showed up and now Caim is utterly compelled to murder the shit out of them all.
"There is no time. I see the goddess. She is in grave danger!"
The dragon is right. I can't just let these guys live. What if they came afterwards and endangered my sister? You're not seeing the big picture, Leo.
*snort* "Heh. Seeing the big picture."
I wasn't even trying to make a joke. But that was pretty funny. Heh. Alright, let's make some noise.
The goal for this stage is to wipe out the six formations of Imperial ships. They usually come packed with three or four of the smaller ship accompanied by one of the Imperial battle ships.
The battle ships are pretty much the same exact deal as the regular ones. Destroy all the canons and you're good to go.
The nice thing is each cannon on every ship counts as a kill, as does destroying the entire thing. As a result, taking out just one battle ship and a pair of the smaller ones is enough to fill up one of Red's magic meters. A single magic blast will annihilate an entire formation in one shot. So, about half the Imperial forces can be obliterated before they can fire a single shot.
I thought that joker was blind, what happened?
"I believe he is gifted with visions."
What's going on with this pact thing? That kid gets to be immortal. Leo is blind but he can still see things and predict lottery winning numbers or something. What did I get out of this?
"Tell me, Caim. How many Imperials did you slay before our pact?"
I don't know. Maybe a couple dozen if it was a particularly large battle. Why?
"And how many are you slaying since our pact?"
I dunno... I think I'm averaging a couple hundred every hour if it's a particularly small batt-oooooh. Forget I said anything.
A few hundred dead seamen later.
Well...hopefully that delay won't have affected anything adversely.
Verse 3: A Lull
Sweet mother of Poseidon's britches! That's a short time limit.
This stage is pretty much copied and pasted from the sky fortress. However, this verse is a very unique one. For you see, it's the only gameplay oriented one in the entire game where Caim doesn't kill anybody. Why is that, you ask? Well, that's simple to answer...
Nobody is fucking home! Leonard led us on a wild goose chase.
Since the map displaying there isn't a single enemy and the extremely short time limit wasn't enough, Drakengard decides to pound it into your head that the place is vacant and you need to hurry your ass to the Goddess.
And I mean really pound it in. I edited out about three more instances of the game yelling at you to hurry up. But! There's a reason to hesitate despite these urgent warnings.
When entering the final room of the first floor, a treasure box appears half way back in the level.
Cavia decides to troll the shit out of the player with this stage. Despite the 2:30 time limit, there are actually two weapons to be had in this stage. The trouble is...it's impossible to get them both in a single run.
On the second floor there is a second weapon. Straight ahead from where Caim begins is the exit to the third floor. On the third floor there is around another ten seconds of running to complete the stage. Unless you are some sort of Drakengard movement guru (and I tried a few times to see if it was possible) there are just a few seconds too little in the stage to grab both weapons on a single run and still beat the timer.
Keep in mind there's around a 5-7 second lag when opening a treasure box. So yeah... one of many "fuck you" moments from the fine folks at Cavia.
Despite the extremely short time limit, Furiae still gets buys the farm off screen before the limit ends. We don't even get there in time to see her dead ass before Inuart has his ragdoll honeymoon with what's left of her.
In case you're wondering, even if we passed the barrier in time Furiae was at no point actually here. Leonard is just an idiot. Time to go do something about that, I reckon.
But first, it's weapon time x2!
A shockwave of damnation...? That sounds pretty metal.
Holy shit that situation escalated fast.
"My daughter is sick! Help her!"
"I'm sorry, I'm working in medieval medical limitations and she has cancer. There's nothing I can do."
"FUCK YOU CUNT I'LL KILL YOUR WHOLE GODDAMN FAMILY FOR THIS!"
"FUCK YOU SHITBERG! I'LL KILL YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY!!!"
And they all died. The end.
Plasmalogical Phantorium...? Come on now, Drakengard. You just make that one up.
I'm sorry, did I just tumble into another fantasy narrative just then? I knew those Neustrians were up to now good. Their invasion of Switzerlopolis was the last straw.
Verse 4: To Drink Poison
Behind door number one in empty room number twelve is...
Still nothing! I am beside myself in disbelief.
Oh... Right... Right... The goddess is "gone". We must have just missed her. Maybe we can find her secretary to leave a message after she gets back from her business brunch.
No, dragon. I don't think we're too late. I think we're at the wrong goddamn place because we've been following to this blind idiot. How many walls did you walk into leading us to Empire's goddamn storage shed?
Caim is, understandably, pretty pissed off. Caim is not the sort of person you piss off, ally or no.
Leonard gets a boot to the back of his skull for his fuck-up.
Shut you whore mouth! If you can see so much then I bet you can dodge the back of my hand meeting your damned face!
Aww...? What's the matter, buddy? Didn't see that coming? No? Big goddamned surprise there.
"Calm down, Caim!"
"It seems we must go to the very ends of hell itself. To the sky fortress!"
What a remarkable waste of time. Drakengard!
Caim and Leonard Don't Get Along
Chapter 10 Aerial Mission
Chapter 10 Ground Mission
Leonard's Pact Rune
Assorted Leonard Concept Art
Very early concept art. Caim was originally going to be...a woman...?