Part 117: RevelationsUpdate 26: Revelations
Okay, now that we have Scylla's power, we need to complete the next step of the ritual. So we need to head back here.
Sir Knight has gained a new power since we were here last, which should mean...
You step forward as Arianna speaks.
So, you've acquired another power.
Are you... the Black Guardian?
Ginnungagap links the world of the living with the world thereafter. You needed the power to unseal that boundary... Which it seems you now have. Thus, you must partake in the final part of the ritual here.
Oh by the way, this warning? In Story Mode, the game lets you know about the upcoming gimmick of the next part of Ginnungagap. In Classic, the game only tells you about the gimmick after you have entered the 3rd floor, and it's too late to leave! Oh and unlike in Classic, you don't have to come here at night to get to the next part.
You mean... we can't go back to town at all until it's done?
Indeed. Until you reach the Door of Boundaries in the depths of the next floor, I forbid you to return to the surface.
You may return now, before the ordeal begins, if you must. Though if you are prepared, we may begin.
And the game even lets you go back to prepare. But yeah, if you're not the kind of player that likes to go through floors in 1 go, this next floor can be a very nasty surprise. The game does give you a bit of help to get through it, but I'll get into that later. Anyways, I'm already prepared, so let's get this show on the road.
My mind's made up.
You nod decisively, telling the Black Guardian that your mind is resolved. All at once, a white light fills the room, enveloping your entire guild...!
I think it's in Ginnungagap?
Chloe's tone is unsure, but the answer is provided by a familiar voice.
That is correct. This is deep within Ginnungagap, at the border of the world of the living. It is here in this place that you must find the Door of Boundaries.
Door of Boundaries, you say...?
It is both a path between the world of the living and the dead, and a seal. It is well-protected and hard to find. Reach it on your own merits, and the ritual will truly end.
The voice fades and your party is once more alone in this alien place.
...I don't see anything like stairs around here. Was the Black Guardian serious about not letting us leave?
Does the Ariadne Thread work?
She seemed pretty clear that leaving would be forbidden, so I'd assume not.
I feel some trepidation about this...
You try to think of something to say in response to Arianna's worries...
My heart's pounding too...
Um... Sir Knight? W-Would that be because of me?
Honored though I am to hear it, you and I don't have such a close relationship. I do of course see you as a friend, but...
Uhhh, I hate to be the one to correct her here...
But I think Knight meant his heart's pounding in fear.
Ah... My sincerest apologies.
Haha, listening to you two helps me stay relaxed.
However, after this, the protector quickly turns serious for once and looks around anxiously. Though he puts up a cheerful front, there seems to be tension underlying it, since this is the final ordeal. In any case, you decide to heed the Black Guardian's warning and press on.
And so begins the final step of the ritual. So going through the floor in one go may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few bones that Atlus throws you to help you get through it.
These chests all contain Return Flutes, which are handy because there are a few FOE puzzles on this floor. And it's easy to mess them up and get cornered.
The other bone that the game devs throw you are these little guys. What do they do?
Well here's Knight with a broken Force Gauge. Also I used up Arianna's Force Break to restore everyone's HP and TP.
If you leave Axolotls alone for a few turns, they'll use Blessed Light, which not only refills your Force Gauges, but restores any broken ones too. With this in mind, you can use Arianna's Proof of Nobility Force Break to restore your party's TP, and use Chloe's Fairy Robe Force Break to keep your party's HP topped off. Sustain isn't a problem for the Story party here. But be careful not to kill the Axolotl, as they'll break your Force Gauges instead if you do.
Oh, and unlike in the past EO games, suicides don't deny your party exp, or their item drops. So there's really no good reason to kill them.
Anyways that's all I wanted to say, and show off for this floor. Oh and here's an audio only conversation in Ginnungagap I forgot to show off earlier.
What's the matter, Chloe?
Nothing. I was looking at Trand.
Oh he's falling behind once again. Hmhm. Sir Bertrand truly does everything at his own pace, hm?
I... don't think that's it.
As you continue the ordeal, the woman beside you speaks softly.
That voice did say this was the last test. Just hang in there a little longer, kid.
We'll be saying goodbye to this hole in no time.
Oh, nothing. It just occurred to me that I'll be departing from High Lagaard once the ritual is over.
It seems a shame, since I've become so close to all of you.
Yeah... You'll go back home to Caledonia. What about you, kid? Gonna head back to the Midgard Library?
I'll go back to the Library, yes.
Makes sense. You grew up there, after all. I'm not surprised it's near to your heart.
Well, wherever you go, you should enjoy life while you can.
You can write your own ticket. I guarantee it.
What's this all about, old man? You're acting a little creepy.
Ahh, talking about the promise of the future just gets me thinking, that's all. So tell me, Flavio. What're you planning on doing after...
Oh, but why ask? You'll just be a burr on Knight's boot.
What's that supposed to mean!?
The group chats idly about their plans for the future as you continue exploring.
Okay, now let's skip to the end of the floor here.
A Geomagnetic Pole?
Hmm, I don't know. Aren't those usually found in the Yggdrasil Labyrinth?
Well, this one is found in Ginnungagap. I dub it the Ginnungagap Pole!
Uh, I wasn't trying to spark a debate on what to call it...
Anyway, the Black Guardian said we can't go back until we find the Door of Boundaries, so it's probably no use.
Go touch it and see, Flavio.
Come on! Why me!? You're the leader here, you should be volunteering yourself!
Actually, please do just that...
You can try touching this Pole as Flavio suggests, or you can leave it alone and proceed onward into the ruins.
The Black Guardian spoke true. We will not see High Lagaard again until we have found the Door of Boundaries.
So... if we do that, do you think this Geomagnetic Pole will start working?
Possibly. There's no guarantee.
It'll work once we find that door.
Indeed. We may reach it sooner than we anticipated, so let us go forth.
Well you can actually save here, but that's about it.
The glow is unearthly... divine, yet somehow also cold.
Is this... the Door of Boundaries?
Daughter of the Mark. And Knight, the knight with the power of Fafnir. You've done well to reach here. This is your destination. The Door of Boundaries, which separates the world of the living and the world beyond. Now, Knight. The new Fafnir Knight. Your passage through this door in the depths of Ginnungagap shall end the ritual.
What is the next part of the ritual?
Since you have mastered every trial... You will inherit the mantle of the Black Guardian from this point on. That is my final duty... You will serve as Guardian of these lands in my stead for the next hundred years.
Wait wait what.
The Guardian's shocking revelation leaves you at a loss for words... But there is still more you must know, and so you decide to ask the Guardian another question.
What is the world beyond?
The world beyond is a place apart from the world of the living. It is a dark place, where man should not be. Our ancestors created these lands to seal away the indestructible Calamity.
What is this dreadful evil?
It's as I told you before. I speak of the evil slumbering deep within the earth. It is an immense monstrosity that cannot be defeated by the might of man. Sealing it, and safeguarding that seal, is the duty of the Fafnir Knight.
You know... the way you talked about that earlier reminded me of something. I heard it at the Library. It was a strange phenomenon that happened in this one town... A Library team met with a catastrophic force that would have shattered the city and devoured its people. Fortunately, they averted the disaster. There was supposedly a tree called Yggdrasil in that town, too...
This is referring to the events of Etrian Odyssey Untold's Story Mode. (Not Classic Mode, things play out way differently there.)
I know not whether this force you speak of and the Calamity are one and the same. All I can say is this... There is a power dormant in these lands that can destroy this world entire. If we do not zealously protect the seal, then at the very least, the Duchy of High Lagaard would be rubble within moments.
An evil sleeps in these lands... and the Black Guardian exists to keep it at bay. These things, I understand.
But what reason was there for Sir Knight to undergo such a transformation? And must he go alone to complete the ritual in the depths...? Can we not accompany him?
Daughter of the Mark... Daughter of Caledonia. There is a cruel truth I must impart to you. Heed my words. I will tell you first of the past... the beginning of everything. In ancient times, the first Lady of High Lagaard discovered the dreadful Calamity, and thought to slay it. Alas... in the face of its immeasurable power, she was forced to abandon this idea and devise an alternative plan. That plan was to seal the Calamity to protect the world. For this, she created a source of power surpassing that of man. That is the power of Fafnir. It is my power as the Black Guardian, and is also what affected Knight.
Power surpassing that of man...?
Indeed. The reason Knight can change form is because he has become something more than human. A Fafnir's duty is to maintain the seal, alone, in the depths of Ginnungagap for the next hundred years. Even the surpassing power of Fafnir cannot last longer than that, alas. Thus, the first Lady granted her own daughter the power to select a Fafnir, and founded a Duchy to pass it down. All to ensure the ritual is performed each century, to bestow the power of Fafnir onto someone worthy of protecting the seal...
But then...! Not only did I inflict this change of form on Sir Knight... But I have forced upon him the duty of protecting the seal alone in these lands for the next century!?
Knight... Daughter of the Mark I understand your surprise. Yet this role has been played since ancient times. Many have been selected by a Lady to protect the seal as a Guardian. You will be another in that line.
The voice gives a small sigh before continuing.
...You will need time to say your farewells to your traveling companions. Say them now, and when your resolve is firm, open the Door of Boundaries. It opens onto a path to the world beyond... to the Hall of Sealing, where man cannot exist. There, you will undergo the final inheritance of Fafnir's power, and become the Black Guardian.
Even after the Guardian's voice fades, no one dares speak a word. Some are merely troubled by this sudden revelation, while others weep in anguish. None of them, however, seem to have an idea of what to say. Yet it is you whom the world's fate has been entrusted to... If your resolve is clear, then stand before the door.
Yeah you know what, screw this, I'm outta here.
You must carefully consider all that has happened, and harden your resolve before approaching the Door of Boundaries.
By shedding your humanity to become the Black Guardian, you can maintain the seal and protect the world from the Calamity. Whereas if you reject the mantle of the Black Guardian, the sealed Calamity will bring great catastrophe to these lands.
Yet if you elect not to become the Guardian, it will surely mean an end to this world. The companions at your side, and the citizens of the town that has supported you... all will be no more. Knowing this, you cannot conscionably choose this path...
Guess we don't have a choice, then.
If you do not become the Guardian, this world will be in jeopardy. Unable to abandon the companions you've come to know, you reach the only answer that you can. You have chosen your own fate... You turn around and speak of your resolve to your guildmates.
Why do you have to sacrifice yourself for this!?
He is right. It is my country's ritual... I-It was I who chose you...! It flies in the face of reason for you to sacrifice yourself, Sir Knight!
The two plead tearfully to try and dissuade you, but your resolve is firm. You speak up to try and convince the pair that it must be done.
You'll come visit me, I hope.
You moron! Don't even joke about that! You're coming back with me to the Midgard Library!
Listen to Sir Flavio! There is no need for you to sacrifice yourself...!
Seeing that the two persist with their protests despite your reassurances, the young girl quietly speaks.
I don't like it either. But if Knight has decided...
Knight knows what he's doing. It's his fate to choose.
Chloe then bites her lip and falls silent.
Maybe so, but...!
...... Then let's go to the door.
Knight's made up his mind. This isn't something outsiders get to decide.
Her countenance is uncharacteristically solemn, with a sternness to it that makes you hesitate to approach.
On the subject of outsiders... Everyone here is an outsider besides myself!
Sir Knight, Sir Flavio, Sir Bertrand, Dame Chloe...
All of you were merely accompanying me on my ritual. It is I, the Daughter of the Mark, who ought to carry it out!
As the Daughter of the Mark, and a scion of Caledonia, I offer my life...!
...Lady of the Mark, stop this. The world beyond is dangerous for humans. Simply touching the door is enough to wound. Walking through it will drain your life away. Only one whom the ritual has changed into something inhuman can open the door to the world beyond.
I-I won't accept that...! I-I... I did not choose Sir Knight for this fate...!
...Everyone here understands that.
Bertrand helps the sobbing woman back to her feet, and then puts her arms on yours.
You've done your part.
It isn't enough! I... I...!
The woman begins to sob as she clings to you...
Knight... I don't want this to happen...!
Flavio and Chloe also gaze intently at you, as if rejecting your farewell. Of them all, only Bertrand stands beside you, with that same easygoing smile.
You guys... You're so hopeless. Didn't you hear what this old man said? It's not something outsiders get a say in.
Wh... We aren't...!
Nope, we're outsiders. All but me, that is.
You all watch, expecting Bertrand to be injured, just as Arianna was But the blue light does not reject the protector's touch, and continues to illuminate the room.
Didn't the ritual choose me?
In the last ritual, you see.
Old man... Your hand... It's just like Knight's...
Well, there you have it.
This old man's a Knight from the last century, who's outlived his usefulness without ever carrying out the ritual. It was me who caused the anomaly last time. So... doesn't it make sense that I take responsibility now?
I know you'd made up your mind, Knight, but let me take this one.
This isn't funny at all!
C'mon, at least let me act cool for once... and not as a joke. To be honest, I was never cut out for this. I thought it'd be way easier to ditch responsibility and run from it all. But once I spent some time with you guys... I realized that wasn't right. I want to face up to my mistakes. That's why I'm choosing this.
Bertrand takes a quiet but definite step towards the Door of Boundaries...
Trand! I-I don't want this! I want to be with you!
Chloe... Try to understand... okay?
You three get it, right?
That's my duty.
...That's where you're wrong. The old man has to set things right himself.
The protector gives you a troubled smile. You are at a loss for what to say to Bertrand, and simply stare at him...
Seeing the look on the protector's face, it is clear to you that he has already made up his mind. But is this truly how it must be? This ritual that has gone on for hundreds of years... the power that surpasses humankind... It all feels terribly wrong to you...
Isn't there another way?
I... think he may be right. Sir Bertrand... You put me in mind of Sir Hrothgar and the duo from Esbat we have met. They, too, were trapped by their past, unable to move on...
Trapped by their past...
Bertrand's face grows pained to hear the woman's words, but he shakes his head and responds to her.
That's easy for you to say... but what am I supposed to do? The job is to live alone down here to protect these lands... hell, the entire world... for a hundred years. Even with that much at stake, a hundred years is way too long.
Bertrand mutters while glancing towards you, and you can see a deep sadness in his eyes.
This isn't just making up for my past. It's a duty I have to carry out.
Besides, if I don't do it... it'll end up being you who has to clean up the mess.
No one has to be sacrificed!
You once said to Hrothgar... Don't dwell over past sins. Keep your mind on the needs of those still alive." You once said to the Esbat guild... Dying is no way to atone for your past." Now, the protector before you seeks to sacrifice himself to his past, leaving a young girl close to him behind. In your view, this would be a serious mistake.
As the others stare at you dumbfounded, you quickly stride to the Door of Boundaries and reach towards it.
Hey, wait! Knight!
No! I don't want Trand to go... but I don't want Knight gone either!
You pause, hearing the loving voices that call out to you... And then you pass through the Door of Boundaries as the Fafnir Knight, leaving your humanity behind.