Part 16: The Mechanics of WarChapter 13: The Mechanics of War
Well, looks like I'm dead.
Wonder where I ended up? Heaven? Hell?
(Will honor with funeral of queen. Friend Elly sent to Odin's halls in burning boat, like in old.)
(Thank you, Trog. She deserves nothing but the finest.)
(It's my fault.)
(It's my fault! I took too long!)
(I could've saved her!)
(Friend Rezen not killing Elly. Su-Zaku killing Elly.)
(Remember. We receive vengeance later.)
The hell went wrong out there? Someone want to explain to me why my bike came back on auto-return without a gunnery sergeant on it?
And what's that bundle over his shoulder?
Is... is sergeant.
...oh, goddamnit, gunny. I told you to stay underground.
Seriously, you are costing this operation valuable time and money!
How... how dare you, sir!
Wha? Oh. Oh God. Was that her fourth death? I'm so sorry, I didn't know...
Is... first, far as Trog knowing?
Oh. Then you guys need to get to the House of Life, ASAP. You're in for a hell of a treat.
Hello! Welcome to the International House of Life. I'm Pierre, I'll be your cleric today.
We, ah, have a bit of a problem.
Lemme guess. The tied up bundle is your friend's corpse?
Alright, toss her on the slab! Let's see what we got.
Hmm, lemme see here...
Wow, still lukewarm. This her second death?
Oh, even better! This shouldn't be hard at all. There will be a fee, though.
Gee, I don't know if we can afford that with the gigantic sack of gold on our bike quick give him the money
Alright, let me get my incense. Oh, and you might want to stand back.
Um... hello? Is there someone else here?
Yeah, hi. Do we know each other? Because I sure as hell don't give my real name to random people.
I don't know why you're ashamed of it. It's beautiful.
So you're not human. Got it.
Myra... It's not your time. Not yet.
Well, that's good news... Still not seeing a way back, though.
Please... protect Rezen. She is... so precious to me...
I mean, I will if I can, but I still don't know how to—
Is my story over... if I fall asleep
Would anybody find me, and would... anybody weep~
I can't even pretend I care... but songs I never sing
Well that means... some... thing...
Well that means... some...
Oh Isis, Goddess of Love, Protector of—
...huh. Usually takes a lot longer than that.
Um. Hi. Am I still dead, or...?
Is live, so far as Trog is knowing.
Great, at least I've been cleared by a man of scienccccCCCCOH MY GOD BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH
...Is that normal?
Your friend just died and came back to life. A certain amount of side effects are to be expected.
Aw, who cares! Elly's back!
Is hug t—
—ime later, Trog think.
I did warn you to stand back.
Y'all really thought I'd kill off Elly?
As you can see, bringing characters back via the House of Life is cheap, cheap, cheap! I think the price goes up the more times they die, but I try not to waste lives, so I don't really know. Also available from item shops and chests are Revives. (We actually have a ton of them, to the point where I've been selling them for cash.) They still burn a heart when used, though, and I'd rather reset to my last save than shell out 10k for a new life later. It's just easier.
Alright, your stomach should be settled by now. You're going to want to drink plenty of fluids over the next 24 hours and avoid anything involving dying.
Sounds like a plan.
Since this is your first death, I've prepared a pamplet for you. Basically, as long as it's not from natural causes, you can be resurrected up to two more times before death is permanent. Try not to use those up!
I won't. Thanks.
Oh, and if you enjoyed your resurrection, please fill out this card and drop it in the nearest mailbox.
Hmm. "How was your afterlife? The Church of Isis wants to know."
We strive for fives!
So! What's it like being dead?
I don't really remember anything. Like, it was pretty sharp when I woke up on the slab, but it's fading pretty quick. It's like forgetting a dream.
Do you recall anything? Anything at all?
Light. And, there was a woman...
...Rezen, how much do you know about your mom?
Sorry, I... Forget it.
Nah, I'm okay. Just a weird time to ask!
My mom passed away when Ryzen and I were 10. Ryzen never really got over it... I think she blames me for some reason.
Friend Rezen has moved on?
Not really. But I'm here, and I'm alive, so that's something.
Your mom liked to sing, didn't she?
Yeah! It's where I picked it up from.
God fucking dammit sergeant what in the immediate blue blazing fuck are you trying to pull
Shouty voice is used lots around friend Elly!
I... think it would be prudent to stay out of this conversation.
Good to see you, too, sir.
Do not sass me you shitbag, I gave you specific orders to bring yourself and your people back in one piece, precisely what was it that you did instead
I did not come back in one piece. Sir.
You're goddamn right you didn't, you pull shit like that again and I swear to God and country I will have your stripes. Do you understand me? You will be relegated to mopping the bar after our soldiers get done puking up their hangovers and I will not feel the least bit sorry about it
Good. Meet back at oh-seven-hundred tomorrow.
And make sure you drink plenty of fluids.
Y'know... she sacrificed herself to save us.
I know. That's why I went easy on her.
...hey. Hey, Elly!
How can I not be?
I'm glad you're not all dead and stuff.
Well, me too.
Have you been drinking fluids?
God, yes. Seriously, what is with the fluids? I've gotten up to pee like five times already!
Just checking up on you!
Well, I appreciate it. And, it's really good to be back with you guys again.
It's silly. I haven't been real close to Ryzen since mom died, but...
Losing you kind of made me realize how much you guys have taken care of me, and I've always looked up to you since we started climbing, and... and...
Aw, nevermind. It's silly.
Rez, you guys brought me back after I died. I think you've earned the right to say just about anything you want.
Can... can I call you big sis?
...Hah. Hahaha! Yeah, I think I'm okay with that.
Alright, everyone. On your feet.
Oof. We've got to get Trog a muzzle or something.
Ha! Is refreshed and ready for adventure!
I sent him to get the bikes.
We aren't waiting for Socho?
Friend Elly is not mentioning...
We'll get the fuel, plug all this stuff in, and go blow up Su-Zaku before anyone knows what happened. Nobody else has to die today.
Wha—oh. Dammit, Dente.
I apologize for nothing. I've watched you throw your life away once already. I'll not do it again.
You're a good kid, gunny. Real dumb sometimes, but good.
Trog is knowing feeling!
But you don't have to do this alone. You will not do it alone.
Sir! Yes, sir.
Okay, are we all done with the shouty orders an' stuff?
It appears so.
Great! Get on your bikes and ride!
(Fukashima's located in the heart of the city, near the tower. The reactor's been around for ages, and it provides what little power we've still got.)
(Is it really a good idea to go grabbing random stuff out of it?)
(The plutonium modules are mostly self-contained and shouldn't emit radiation.)
(At any rate, the reactor can still function without one of them. The best way into the power plant is through the sewers.)
(The plant drains into the sewers? That doesn't sound real healthy.)
(Why do you think there's so many mutants around here? Here's our stop.)
Okay, this is... just a big gap. Not seeing what we're supposed to—
(You guys go in first to clear the way. I'll clean up behind so you don't get any nasty surprises.)
(Works for me. Soooner we get this thing, the better. I'm looking forward to wiping the smug look right off her face.)
(Keep it under control, gunny. I don't need you losing another life because you got sloppy.)
(Hoo, sir. Moving in.)
The power plant's kind of neat, but short. It has a single piece of treasure, a scripted midboss, a major boss, and a lot of metal rods in your way to annoy you. There's also a slight bump in random monster difficulty, as we see Behemoths start cropping up. They're not as impressive as in Final Fantasy proper, but they still hit pretty hard, and that Cure book of ours is wearing a bit thin. Fortunately, they're too slow to hit Elly most of the time. More importantly, they're still vulnerable to stone, and Rez is fast enough to contain them.
Dragon-3s start showing up here as well. I never really noticed the difference between dragon tiers, but it's mostly because our party has by and large been fireproof since they started cropping up. Screw you, Suit armor! Look who's laughing now!
I don't like the look this guy's giving me.
I do believe he can't help it.
Eye am defending this area. You will not pass.
Oh, eye think we will!
The Evil Eye has 99 mana, a couple of nasty attacks, and a couple we don't give a shit about. Flash is one of the latter, as we can just apply eyedrops and go about our business. Paralyze Gaze is another. The two we don't want him using are ~Mystery Gaze~ and Beam. Especially not beam. 99 mana with a beam attack will result in a really rotten time for us.
You may notice I said "mystery gaze." In a particularly hilarious move, there are four attacks in the game called "Gaze," two of which have 5 uses and the other two of which have 10. It can cause paralyze, confusion, curse, or stone, depending on which one you end up with. This is not to be confused with "SL-Gaze," which allows you to put an entire enemy group to sleep. We know Evil Eye has paralyze gaze, but through the magic of comprehensive bestiaries and abandoned save states, I also know he has a gaze that only gets 5 uses...
I'm telling you guys, we're getting better and better at this!
Actually, I've got a plan. We can put him on a stone base with a plaque, then ship him to Su-Zaku. Whenever we're ready to attack, we'll thaw him out with a Golden Needle. She'll never see him coming.
Or we could just pour a dose of Elixir on him and be on our way.
What is happening? Eye go away?
Will you just get back here
Okay, if we're all done horsing around, can we get back to the mission? We should have a clear shot through now.
Except for the dinosaur.
Oh, well, yeah. Thought that part was a given.
Just how does one fit a dinosaur down this corridor?
Trog assume needs much pushing.
(Ugh, these rod things are so annoying. Maybe we can just drive through them!)
(They're simmering hot and we're not even going to attempt that. Just go around.)
(Coming up on your six, gunny!)
(Copy that, sir.)
Area's secure, sir, but the path to the reactor chamber's blocked by rods.
Went out like a fucking boss. If you're gonna die on someone, gunny, that's how you do it.
You showed me what a goddamn idiot you are. Sir.
After all that yellin', too. Some CO I turned out to be.
We'll clear some space on the bike and get you back to the healer as soon as possible. See you in a bit, sir.
Negative on that, gunny.
Never told you. Used up all my lives in the war.
...is one of those tough calls that have to get made. We weren't getting in without it. Here...
This... This is your headband...
We got a chance to save this world. Don't waste it.
I'm getting really, really tired of people dying on us.
Socho die as man of great honor. Must not abandon wish. Device must construct.
I agree. Su-Zaku cannot be allowed to roam free if this world is to survive.
Yeah. Alright, let's get the power supply and get out of here. It'll give me time to figure out what to say to Sayaka, anyway.
Not to ruin the moment here, but Socho's death is pretty no matter how you slice it. Unless you believe he's literally a biker thug with a huge heart and a brain the size of a pea, there's no rational explanation for any of this. (And in canon, he is! But, that kind of makes it even harder to sympathize.) You'd think he could've waited for a bulldozer or something...
Anyway, after shuffling off this mortal coil, he gives us the Band helmet. This is FFL's Ribbon, and accordingly, it conveys a shitload of immunities to the wearer. But, unlike Ribbon, the armor rating on the Band is really good! It's a fantastic pickup, even if we got it off a dumb plot point.
Danger. Danger. Rupture in Area 22. All personnel advised to evacuate.
That water... does not look healthy.
What? I mean, it's boiling and all, but...
Boiling water is not supposed to give off colored vapor.
Healthy or not, we have to get in there and get the fuel cell. Somehow.
Trog have plan!
(Trog, that's as close as we can get! Our bikes are already overheating! Whatever this plan of yours is, now's the time!)
(Understanding! Now, for plan... jump!)
(OH NO THIS IS NOT A PLAN AT ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL)
Well, my flesh isn't melting off my bones. That's good!
Nor mine. It appears Trog's plan was sound.
Someone want to explain to me what's going on?
Armor deflect fire. Will deflect bad water. Probably.
Huh. Why didn't I think of that?
Is OK. Hard being smart one sometime.
Ooooooh. Good thing you're wearing Dragon armor, Elly, because that burn could've been lethal.
... Let's... let's just get the fuel.
The water tiles in this area are damage squares and will slowly lower your HP while you walk on it. Still, there's not much ground to cover, and the damage is minimal. It's just some boiling, radiation-infused hard water, walk it off you bunch of whiny babbies
Well, I guess this is what we came for.
Great. Let's scoot!
Core compromise in Area 22! Core compromise in Area 22! In...
That... doesn't sound good.
Ehn, they'll probably just send some goofy attack robot or something. We'll beat him up, and—
Uh... we come in peace?
Rezen, get down! *shove*
Ptoo! I don't think I'm supposed to drink this stuff...
Bigger problems right now!
I don't care if the text says "Machine." That is WarMech, and if you don't know who WarMech is, you're probably in the wrong LP.
Oh, very well. I'll elaborate. WarMech appeared in Final Fantasy (NES) as a rare 1-in-50 encounter on one particular dungeon floor and was the very first example of Square's "Rare Ass-Kickingly Hard Fight You Win Just to Brag About It" trope. WarMech's original name was "Death Machine," but since Nintendo didn't want to traumatize million of little kids, their standards and practices scrubbed that into WarMech. And if you don't think that's infinitely more awesome I will fucking fight you.
As you might expect, WarMech is stuffed chock full of pain. I took a cursory run against him off-camera to see what all he had to offer, and here's what I found:
- Bash (seen above, probably the hardest hitting physical attack in the game)
- Laser (!)
- Balkin (!!)
- Missle ( )
- D-Beam (oh my god I don't even know what this is)
So, yes. Whether you call him WarMech or Death Machine, you can always recognize him by his trendy oval shell, single eye, twin walker legs, and ability to shell out massive amounts of damage to anyone and everyone around him. And he isn't an optional fight this time, either. He'll find you when you take the plutonium, and then he'll put you in the hurt locker.
By the way, he has O-Physical. Oh, and you know what else he has?
Alright, troop! Surround and attack on all sides! He can't hit all of us at once!
Is lots of clicking! What happen?
Oh! What did it shoot into the air just now? It's like a firework!
...which is exactly what'll happen if we don't take him down now!
And just how do you know about all this?
Socho filled me in on some of the weapons they use in this world!
And you didn't see fit to tell us?!
I didn't think it would come up!
Coward device! Kill from afar with gun. Will not look man in eye!
Ha, machine is no match! Has no thing that Trog have!
Device not have fighting spirit!
Five fingers. Curl. Strike.
Security breach in Area 22. System malfunctin. Systme malfunnything. Setestes
...no. No! Nonono!
Why it's turning off? Why's it off?!
*kick* *kick* C'mon! C'mon!
Elly! The town!
Believe me, I know!
Shield is gone!
Quick! We have to get everyone evacuated before—
Elly. Everyone. You need to see this.
Next Time: The Chrysler Building