Part 45: The parade of blood and tears must endThere's nothing I love more than procrastination, so let's check out the townspeople's new responses now that a day has passed. It seems more appropriate for Ryudo to visit everyone now, anyway, what with the imminent final confrontation with his brother.
Villager: Melfice again... Ah!! I can't even bear the thought! I don't want to even THINK of that day...
You are all thinking only of yourselves! What makes you believe that Ryudo does not suffer from his memories as well?!
Elena! Leave it be! I'm here to send Melfice to his grave... nothing more. Now, let's GO...
Old Woman: ...Ryudo, are you any different? Your plan is to fight him, isn't it? Then you'll die as surely as I will.
That stings almost as much as all the grammatical errors I edited out of her dialogue.
Old Woman: No one can beat Melfice. Fighting him is suicide. Am I wrong, Ryudo?
Perhaps no one IS good enough to beat Melfice. But we can do NOTHING until we try to stand up to him! We can't keep running!
Elder, Ryudo does not intend to sacrifice his life. Melfice cannot be allowed to continue onward. Ryudo understands this.
Old Woman: Maybe so... but no one can best Melfice. I've seen him. I know. His power is inhuman.
Hey, most of our party isn't human either. Maybe we got a shot.
Literal child perfectly illustrates ridiculous nature of Garlan prejudice, Silesian continent stunned.
Child: You're going to make EVERYONE sick and die! Just like my Mommy! Aren't you!?
Not so, little one. When the body is sick, it must purge the disease. Ryudo is here to purge Melfice... the disease.
Mareg... she won't understand you. Besides... Melfice waits.
If we say yes:
I see... Even if he were to kill you, I doubt it would end there...
Our village history would end with you, Ryudo. We will all be destroyed if you lose to Melfice.
You simply assume I will LOSE? I've come to defeat him. Once he is destroyed, this will all be over... Then I'll leave.
If we say no:
Well then. I see you cannot be swayed. It looks as if we have no choice but to cast our lot with you, Ryudo.
But he said he would not fight. How did you know he would face Melfice?
By the look in his eyes... I raised him. I know him all too well.
Regardless of choice:
Chief! What is the MATTER with you?! You've never spoken like such a coward!
I've been like this since Reena... [sigh] I am powerless as a chief, powerless... as a swordsman.
I could never admit this to the village, but I've given up. I could never stop him even if I tried.
The graveyard has new dialogue as well, but I'll keep it short this time around:
Yeah. She adored the old Melfice, the "dead" Melfice. The Melfice we know now is nothing more than a monster...
True. And if we fail to stop Melfice, the slaughter will continue. The parade of blood and tears must end.
I know this must be hard for you... but you know this must be done.
So watch over me... Wait... no. It was I who ran away. I've no right to ask that of you...
How can I, who ran away while Gallius stood fast, ask him to watch over me now? I've no right. But...
No, Ryudo! Why, you're... you're...
Ryudo. I agree with what Elena is trying to tell you. Gallius agrees as well, I am sure. You are no coward. We all know that.
Mareg and Elena... thank you for your support.
Alright, just a few gameplay things before we set out.
Firstly, I've maxed out Tio's Lotus Flower. It is now instant, bringing us up to three instant cancel moves. We're going to need them.
Having leveled the Book of Wizards up to 15, this skill is now available. Once Elena earns another skill slot, she'll become a gloriously incandescent infinite Burnstrike machine, limited only by the occasional need for actions other than arson.
Oh, and by our supply of Grail Fruits, I suppose. I bought nearly a hundred.
A sign, and a warning. From the Horns of Val... no... Melfice.
My village was left as such...
I fear what may happen should Melfice find what he seeks, for there is murder in his purpose.
Melfice must NOT have control of that power. We MUST stop him!
Ryudo, this was on the door of your old house.
Gatta hands Ryudo a scrap of paper.
"Wait at the Plateau of Memories. -Melfice!"
Melfice must be stopped, Ryudo. You must do this for me - you must kill him. We're all in danger while he still lives.
He's spread his madness for far too long! And... you're the only one who can defeat him...
Alright, let's get this show on the road.
Grail Mountain Road starts out with the same enemies as back in Cecile Reef. The Crimson Claws come in proper packs of six now, letting them put up a decent fight again.
Broken bridge count: 1.
HP: 4400 (from 1800)
Abilities: Tremor (~650), Def-Loss, Feather Needle (AoE Cone, ~800 damage, Cancel)
Resistant to , Weak to
There are two 'proper' new enemies here and they're both callbacks to the first Grandia. Unfortunately, they're also pushovers. Dodgeable attacks, not enough damage, susceptible to every status effect. They look neat, though.
A bomb that does damage and reduces defense in an area. Not too useful.
Straight upgrade for Tio.
Pushing this grave, which is seriously the rudest thing Ryudo's done since that one masturbation joke back in St. Heim, cuts off the river.
Counting this as broken bridge number two.
HP: 3860 (from 1340)
Abilities: Apple Hurl (~1000 damage, Cancel)
Special: ] on hit
Resistant to , Weak to
Even sadder than the birds, having fewer hit points and a weakness to fire.
Seriously, this guy got put to sleep by Elena smacking him about the head with her staff.
Past these steam vents is the second half of the area.
Introducing: disgusting purple slime. It slows you down, like the snow back in Lumir.
This is probably the best non-revival combat item in the game, right here. +5 ACT to one character results in a massive boost to acting speed.
Other treasure in the area includes a Mars Talisman, which is a handy accessory that grants immunity to move and magic block, as well as a Potion of Azure, the next tier up of full party heal. Assuming you're using chants, healing items in this game tend to stay slightly behind Alhealer, even with the hard hack reducing the latter's effectiveness. Their usefulness lies in being usable by anyone at any time and being boosted by different skills, which is why I made Mareg my item specialist so long ago.
I'd like to briefly remind you of how horrifying these frogs are. Moving on.
Broken bridge count: 3.
Sacrilege count: 2.
It's amazing that such magical fruit can still be found in such a barren land.
UGH NEVERMIND KEEP YOUR STUPID FRUIT.
I'm putting the entire party on an all-meat diet after this.
Pit Viper (reskin of Crag Snake)
HP: 3000 (from 1080)
Special: , or -1 on hit, plus and probably , but I wouldn't know
Resistant to , Weak to
There's little to say about these guys that I haven't said about the other enemies in the area or about their less garishly-colored predecessors. In the version of the hack that I played for my test run, they had about half the attack power they do now, making them a good candidate for least threatening enemy in the game.
Broken bridge count: 4.
This is the Dark Armor, which gives a good chunk of defense and restores 1 SP whenever the wearer takes damage.
A neat thing about the Man-Eating Trees is that they don't move until you go near them, as if they were actually attempting to mimic normal trees. They also tend to be in these slime pits, allowing them to guard treasure despite their comically slow walking speed.
Towards the end of the area we find these bridges of hardened slime.
The most convenient one, of course, is broken. You just don't know it until you're halfway across. Incidentally, while taking screenshots for this update, I thought to myself that this would be a great time for the game to attract a group of enemies to ambush you while you're stuck on the slime-bridge.
I promptly got surprised by these stupid frogs while getting on the other bridge. Touché.
Only the axe is new, and it's exactly what it sounds like - attack upgrade for Mareg, earth elemental. It's interesting to note that weapon element does not apply to special moves, so Mareg can wield this and still do respectable damage to Clay Birds, as long as he uses Beast-Fang Cut.
Broken bridge count: 6. There's one more item to pick up here, some Dynamite that we saw across broken bridge #4; having acquired that, we can make our way to the save point and the next part of Grail Mountain, the Shrine Square.
Never thought I'd see this place again... The place where... my nightmares began... Let's do this quickly...
There's still much I don't understand... The only thing I do know...
...is that Melfice wanted the power of Valmar so desperately, he killed Reena to get it.
Keep this location and those words in mind for the near future.
I cannot believe that someone would murder a loved one for power...
As we leave the seal, we find just whom we were looking for...
Ah, Ryudo. As always, a sad little boy with little to say. I know you too well; I know your every weakness. Come, brother...
The place he ran to is actually the third area of the Grail Mountain Road, so we have a little dungeon left to go.
This area reminds me of that one chunk of Baked Plains between Mareg's little outburst and Liligue - very short if you don't want the treasure and not too long if you do, either. Said treasure consists of a very useful Gold Feather, another Grail Fruit and a ribbon that gives confusion resistance.
Various factors have conspired against this update going as far as the actual fight against Melfice, so you can look forward to that climactic clash next time.
Official Art: Grail Mountain, also Grail Mountain.