Good. We've started building airship No. 3. It's going well, too <gwok>. Many engineers from the Industrial District have volunteered.
They have faith in you, Regent. That is why they can be strong. They are proud to be citizens of Lindblum.
We have completely switched gears and are back in Lindblum. It's been awhile!
I'm tired from working day and night on a new airship... Hey, why don't you come by the research center and give us a hand sometime?
You talkin' to both of us?
Heh, heh, heh. I'm just kidding. We already have enough people <gwok> working on it.
Oh... Do you know how Zidane's doing?
He's fine. In fact, he's probably awake now.
Blank, go to the castle and see how he's doing.
...How did I get here?
Zidane's apparently alive after all. Go figure.
Egoist's Armlet nullifies shadow damage and teaches Level Up and Beast Killer.
More Mognet stuff.
As we try to leave, Blank catches Zidane.
Okay, I guess...
Zidane may be curious about how he got there but we all know what's gonna be the foremost thought on his mind right now.
No, I haven't seen her. Maybe she's upstairs by the telescope.
We're in control of Zidane now, which means time for a QTE!
Yeah... Whatever it is, I think it's dead.
!!! C-Captain! I-I'm sorry, sir, but we found this weird thing by the shore.
Step aside. I used to be a sea-dog, so I know a thing or two about these things.
I'll be damned. They got their butts movin' in a hurry.
...Where is this?
So Quina apparently cheated death again. Auto-Life is a hell of a thing, I guess.
Most of the soldiers don't have anything interesting to say, just telling you where everything is and stuff like that.
There are a few highlights, though.
A couple items to loot down here, including another Chimera Armlet.
Alright, let's check in on Dagger.
But as you can see, I'm alright now.
Dagger... Is something wrong?
Ohhh, okay. You're so happy to see me, you don't know what to say.
Dagger's being unusually quiet, you may notice.
(...Maybe she's just tired. A lot has happened since Brahne's death...I'd better cheer her up.)
It'll be fun. Come on!
(Maybe I should leave her alone.)
Sorry to bother you. I'll see you later.
So that didn't really go as expected.
I forgot to tell him to go to Cid's room. He's probably still upstairs, yappin' away.
The ATE pretty much sets up Zidane meeting Blank once he stops annoying Dagger.
What, are you following me or something?
Hey, I don't have time to play around, like you. I forgot to tell you something earlier.
Sheez... What's with you? Ohhh... You had a fight with her, huh?
Heh-heh-heh. Take it easy. Cid said he wants to talk to you.
How...!? Man... I've been waiting here for nothing.
I love it when Zidane and Blank have a conversation. They're always ribbing on each other.
Cid is upstairs but let's check out the conference room first.
How are you feeling?
Okay, I guess.
Zidane, Regent Cid wishes to see you. Go to the royal chamber.
Oh. Okay. See you all later.
Happy to see you too, Rusty.
If we re-enter, we can talk to everyone.
This suit of armor is impeccable. I wish I could try it on.
This castle has so many neat things.
Did you talk to Cid yet?
I'm getting bored.
I thought you were dead... Shucks...
Amarant's is clearly the best.
Alright, enough screwing around. Let's chat with Cid finally.
I heard you wanted to see me. What's up?
After reviewing the attack on Alexandria, we've discovered some interesting facts...facts, I think, you all should know <gwok>.
The others are waiting in the conference room. We can begin the meeting at any time.
Alright, let's begin.
Is that everyone?
We are still missing the princess.
...She's probably upstairs, by the telescope.
I'll go get her.
While they catch up on stuff we've already seen, let's check in with Dagger and see how she's faring.
(Alexandria is gone... I still can't believe it... So many people were killed. The survivors are homeless and destitute. How could this have happened...?)
(No. It's not her fault.)
(I got everyone involved in this: Zidane, Vivi, Steiner...everyone... Had I stayed with Mother, maybe I could've stopped her.)
(I shouldn't have assumed the throne... I thought I could make amends, but...I've only brought misery to everyone.)
I mean, the people around her figured Dagger to be in poor spirits, but they probably don't realize to the extent that everything that happened has affected her. She was powerless to stop her mother and still blames herself for leaving Alexandria in the first place and getting her friends involved in this conflict. She watched helplessly as Burmecia, Cleyra, and Lindblum were destroyed (the last one right before her very eyes) using her very own eidolons. She wasn't able to save her mother from Kuja. And the kingdom she led quickly fell despite her best efforts.
The worst part is that she believes all of this is her fault, and hers alone. If only she could've talked Brahne out of it, if only she could protect Brahne and Alexandria, if only she stayed home in the first place. When you place yourself responsible for such tragedies, that would tear apart even the most steel-hearted of people, let alone a teenage girl. It's honestly surprising she hasn't had a complete mental breakdown by now over the weight of everything that's happened.
That said, at least externally there's something very noticeably wrong with her, something you've very likely picked up on by now.
<Gwok> ...I can imagine.
Her Highness is probably beyond despair.
I have never witnessed such tragedy. There was nothing we could do. We fought with everything we had, but to no avail. Beatrix and I were prepared to give our lives.
Beatrix is currently M.I.A. as well.
But I believe it will take much longer for our people to overcome their losses. Those who survived have a long, tough road ahead of them.
Kuja has vanquished all four nations. What is he trying to accomplish?
Who knows!? Let's just go get him!
Kuja's powers are beyond ours. How do you plan to fight him?
Kuja is a man of many mysteries, indeed. I still can't believe what I saw when we were evacuating from Alexandria.
What!? What did you see?
I saw him escape on my stolen airship, Hilda Garde 1 <gwok>. There were black mages onboard, too.
No way... Are you sure about this?
There's no doubt.
The peaceful mages from the Black Mage Village have apparently joined Kuja for some reason. Vivi can't imagine why they'd join such an evil man, for obvious reasons.
Anyway, time for another ATE.
For a second, I thought I was...
What can that old fool do to me!? He can't kill me! Nothing can! ...Besides, he's too late. The wheels are already in motion.
So, surprise, Kuja survived. Things didn't go to plan, but he's not giving up whatever nefarious plan he's up to.
And look who joined up with him?
Terrible injuries, you have suffered.
...If I can't have Alexander, so be it. I'll find another eidolon soon enough.
I am Mr. 234.
Shut up! I didn't ask for your number! Are the preparations complete?
It's about time.
Seriously, both Kuja and Garland know who Zidane is, though he has no memories of his past beyond a blue light and certainly doesn't seem like he remembers Kuja.
Of course, it'll be awhile before we get into that.
Sad story, isn't it? My lecherous character has led to my undoing.
But how did Kuja get a hold of Lady Hilda's airship?
<Gwok!> That's what I'd like to know. He probably commandeered it to further his mad schemes, whatever they may be. In any case, I must get Hilda and her airship back somehow <gwok>!
What a shame, for a ruler to end up like this... But we can't ignore this situation. Kuja must be stopped!
Indeed! We must deal with him before it is too late!
It's easier said than done. We don't know where he is. We don't even have an airship to look for him.
He's right. No. 2 is still <gwok> out of commission. And I doubt I can oversee the construction of a new airship in my current form.
Artania, is there anything that can be done?
I have spoken to Doctor Tot regarding this matter and asked him to join us. He should be here any minute.
That's wonderful! I'm certain Doctor Tot will be most helpful!
Please forgive me for calling you on such short notice, Doctor. Thank you very much for giving up your precious time to come here.
Please, Minister. You need not be so formal.
Yes, we're experiencing Minister Artania and Doctor Tot having a conversation. I knew you all dared to hope this moment would come, and it is indeed a glorious one.
Hmm? Where is the princess? Eiko is missing, too.
Don't worry, Doc. They're alright. Eiko's out looking for Dagger right now.
Oh, I see. Well, that's a relief.
Geez, what's up?
Ho-ho-ho. I see you are as energetic as ever.
It's Dagger. She's...
What!? What's wrong!?
Just come with me! She's in the guest room.
Come on, Doc!
I'm coming, too!
Let's postpone this meeting.
I agree, sire... We will resume this meeting later.
She's sitting on her bed.
Doctor, isn't there anything you can do?
What tragedy... The princess has indeed lost her voice.
She has suffered so much pain.
So that's it!? There's no hope!?
...I believe this is only temporary. But it may be months, even years, before she can speak again...
So, all we can do is wait.
I'm afraid so... This is no ordinary illness. We must keep her heart at peace. That is all I can think of.
Maybe we could just cast Haste on her over and over until she gets cured that way?
Yeah, bad idea, sorry.
But yeah, Dagger didn't go through all that above trauma unscathed. She's now mute, effectively shutting herself off from the world due to her guilt, so overcome she doesn't want to deal with any of this shit anymore. This is what happens when someone endures circumstances so continuously horrible that it breaks their very mind and causes them to completely shut down.
I really wish more games would go into the psychological trauma war can bring, though I'm sure there are some good examples already.
...Eiko, can you look after her for a while?
...Sure. What are you gonna do?
Doc, I need an airship to find Kuja. Tell me how to turn Cid back into a human! That's the only way!
Now, now. Calm down... Let's go see the regent.
Next time, we'll look into turning Cid back to normal and also catch up on what's going on in Lindblum since our last trip. Hopefully things will be more cheerful than this update!