Part 22: Peace through superior firepowerChapter 22: Peace through superior firepower
After the preceding scene, there's not much left to do but walk all the way back out of the cave.
Fortunately, the game was so kind as to provide us with a shortcut. Curiously, when I was looking behind the scenery for hidden treasure chests, this passageway had an unusable treasure box as a placeholder.
This passageway even has its own special enemy, called a Lich. What they do is they confuse members of the party, then they cast Fire on everybody, then they cast Fire 2, and then they cast Fire 3, all while half the party is also busily hitting themselves.
Bloody irritating, that's what that is. On the plus side, they can be robbed for Poison Rods. Now if we only had a character who could use them...
And just like that, we're back in front of the cave.
Despite the fact that Terra couldn't have left your party at this point, this next exchange is generic in every sense of the word.
"The Espers flew off together...Then, the Empire's citizens ran off as though
they were terrified."
"Which way did the Espers go?"
"Towards the capital...Vector..."
What's the point of this exchange exactly? The entire plan was for the Espers to hit the Empire from the east, which is pretty much what would happen if they took a direct beeline from the cave's entrance. So far, everything's still going to plan.
The folks who programmed this game loved to hide characters behind the text box. Try to pretend that Setzer isn't there.
: I can feel it...it's coming closer and closer...
: What do you mean you can feel it?
: It was...glowing.
: What's that?! It can't be...an Esper!
They're flying towards Vector. The Espers went for Vector. Why are they shocked and amazed that when they're approaching Vector, where the Espers are, that there are still Espers in the sky? These people have brains like sieves.
Bahamut sure gets around.
: What was that?!
: Setzer, get down!
Oh no! Kirin! It might cast Regen on us!
: Where are they going?
: They were mad...
: They seemed...angry...
: Forget that! What's with this vibration? Is it from the Espers?
Oh come on! I just got this thing!
Right, time to make an away team. Cyan's not been getting enough love lately, so I'm bringing him along. Besides, there's a little extra dialogue coming up if you bring him.
I also couldn't resist the temptation to do something very very silly, seeing as there was a second Genji Glove and a second Tempest in the Sealed Cave.
The crash put us down on the southern tip of the southern continent. It's going to be a long walk.
Unlike most spell swords, the Tempest simply replaces the regular attack with Wind Slash, rather than casting Wind Slash after the attack. That means less damage to a single enemy theoretically, but when you consider that it's hitting everyone on the field for about 400 apiece (give or take), it's still very good.
Incidentally, a curious thing I discovered from this arrangement is that if a monster dies from the second Tempest's Wind Slash, the game will just kill the monster without the spell's effect activating. Also, perhaps I just got unlucky, but using Locke's Assassin knife with a Genji Glove never seemed to work unless the Assassin knife was the second weapon he swung. This Genji Glove is quite the peculiar thing.
Maranda is a short walk from where the airship sets down. We could bypass it and go directly to Vector, but if we did, we'd miss out on seeing this dog fight. This event only happens right after releasing the Espers, so if you went to Vector before seeing it, you're just out of luck. Good thing that you don't get anything for seeing it, otherwise I'd call that some royal BS.
So Vector's kind of a mess. Lots of NPC's who used to be here are gone, including that crooked innkeeper, and Returners are flooding the streets. Looks like we won, right?
Music: The Empire
But if that's so, why's their theme still playing?
Excellent! We're talking nothing less than a complete surrender. If I don't have my own magical tank by the end of today, we're gonna tell our Esper buddies to turn this place into an anthill!
...Which is what I'd like to say, but the game's gonna have us take the wussy route.
Cid: The Espers came to save their friends. When they learned the others had perished, they went berserk, and trashed the town...Never will I forget their shrieks of rage...
Trooper: We're hanging up our weapons and armour for good.
They're obviously lying, of course, but at the same time, getting basically nuked to kingdom come would probably do wonders for killing a nation's morale.
: They'll shred the world! We must get them to understand we are no longer at war.
Cid: No human's going to make them sit down and listen...
Sure, the city may be on fire and most of Vector's citizens are probably piles of black ash, but that doesn't mean that we can't have a party.
Cid: There are some people here who'd prefer to keep fighting. Please, before we dine, talk to as many soldiers as you can! Make them understand!
Trooper: You have 4 minutes until dinner.
Oh criminey, it's this section of the game.
What you have to do is run around the palace, chatting with every soldier you can find. The game will keep a tally for you, but it doesn't tell you when you're done, so even if you find all 24, you'll probably still be running around like an idiot.
Complicating matters is that some of the soldiers are still adamantly opposed to a ceasefire, like this man sitting on a toilet.
Naturally, the best way to turn these folks around to our way of thinking is to beat the crap out of them until they give up.
In the second run that I did, I had enough time to grab all the palace's treasures, run back to the start and get bored. I probably had enough time to show a certain scene in the palace's prison, but I decided to leave it until next update.
Two particular items of note, Back Guard and Gale Hairpin: Decrease the chances of back attacks and pincer attacks and increase the chance of preemptive attacks, respectively. They basically serve the same purpose, but I don't tend to use either of them, because there are far better options.
That evening, the banquet with the Emperor took place...
Music: The Returners
The rebellion just got 50% lamer.
: Imagine! All of us here, sharing a meal! First we must have a toast!
So begins the conversation minigame. These choices give you different point values, and if you get enough combined points from the soldier hunt and the dinner conversation, you get something nice. Simple, no? I'll be highlighting the highest point value options, but they're mostly common sense-ish.
: Well then...to our hometowns! As you know, Kefka's in jail for war crimes. What shall we do with him?
1: "Leave him in jail"
2: "Pardon him"
3: "Execute him!"
: Hmm...Well, let's let him stew in his cell for a while. Then we'll decide what to do. I truly apologize for the poisoning of Doma. No one dreamed that Kefka would use poison.
1: "What's done is done"
2: "That was inexcusable"
3: "Apologize again!!"
If you discount the part where Imperial soldiers were dying left and right due to poor tactics and a laughably inept leadership. That seems to me like a pretty valid excuse.
: I'm so terribly sorry! Kefka's being severely punished, and we're cleaning up the poison.
I'm sure the people of Doma would be most grateful for your humanitarian efforts, if they weren't all dead.
: By the way...with regard to General Celes...
1: "Was she a spy?"
2: "Celes is one of us"
3: "We trust Celes"
: Kefka was lying. General Celes realized the war was stupid before anyone else. That's why she joined the Returners. Any other questions for me?
If we want full points, we're going to have to go back and ask every single one. Just be careful not to ask a question over again, because that really ticks him off.
1: "Why'd you start the war?"
: My desire for power got the best of me. Now I've come to my senses.
2: "Why do you want peace now?"
: I feel we need each other's help at this time...
3: "Why'd we have to talk to your men?"
: Some of my men refuse to embrace peace. I felt they'd understand if they actually met you face to face.
Oh, don't worry, we made them understand. By any means necessary.
: My Empire's been decimated by the Espers that emerged from the sealed gate. They're acting spiteful. Unless they're stopped, they'll rip the world asunder!
1: "Yes, the Espers have gone too far."
2: "But you unleashed their power!"
: After the Espers went on their rampage, I knew I couldn't go on with my war. I asked myself why I had started it in the first place.
Of course, the question of which faction actually unleashed the Espers on the world is going to be happily swept under the rug.
Every point counts. Fortunately, if you're like me, it's always the one on top.
Sure. Nothing much to do though but talk to the troopers on Gestahl's side of the table.
Trooper: We want to test your strength. Can we have a couple minutes of your time?
We only end up needing 30 seconds.
Trooper: Just as we thought...
Why yes, this is also worth points. Thanks for asking! Let's continue.
: Is there anything you wish to hear me say?
1: "That all you really want is peace"
2: "That the war is truly over."
3: "That you're sorry."
: I understand. I've ordered this war to be over! Now I must ask for a favour...
: They must be found...! We must tell them we're no longer their enemy. After all that I have put them through, it is up to me to set things right. That is why...I need to borrow Terra's power. Only Terra can bridge the gap between Esper and human.
: We must make for Crescent Island aboard the freighter from Albrook. Will you accompany me?
Much as I'd love to flip the Empire the bird, if we're aiming for precious points, we have to agree the first time.
: I'll have my finest warrior accompany us! General Leo!
He's General Leo the man who forgets to add periods to his sentences what a guy.
: ...That wasn't your fault.
There's also a line of dialogue for Sabin, which is more of an aside to another character.
: Didn't I see you at Doma...? ...I'm SURE I did...So that was General Leo...
: We must find the Espers and come to terms with them! You are our last hope!
Jeez, that was a ton of dialogue. And there's more to come.
Next Time: We rescue a kid from a burning house by punching the fire to death