Part 54: THIS IS NOT A GOOD PLAN
St. Heim Citizen: Valmar ... Valmar will revive!
Other Citizen: Wha- what do we do!? What should we do!?
St. Heim Citizen: Let's go see the priests at the Cathedral. ... I know! Pope Zera will help us! Let's go to the Cathedral! It's safe there!
Sl- Slow down! What the hell are you talking about?!
St. Heim Citizen: The Knights of Granas massacred... everyone in front of the Cathedral!
This cannot be! The Knights would never raise a hand against this innocent! Their concern is with the heretical!
We must inquire into this withal.
Let's get moving!
Well, this all went to hell in a hurry.
Pull yourself together! We've got to focus on survival right now! Nothing else but surviving!
It's too dangerous here! The survivors must get to the Kingdom of Cyrum! We MUST focus on pulling through this...
St. Heim Citizen: Someone help me please! Please! Please help my child at least!
There's a few more people around the pastures in varying states of panic and death, but we should probably hurry to the Cathedral.
Have they lost their minds!?
Dammit! Let's get to it, then!
Plot fight, mechanically uninteresting. They cancel on hit, that's about it.
This is why I'm not 100% sure on the blue blood being censorship thing. Selene's looked plenty red in the FMV, but, well...
Look... See this... They are as inhuman as their scent.
From the appearance of things, you are correct. They are not human.
Why... did the Day of Darkness really... come?
We must meet with His Holiness Zera. Quickly, Ryudo! We must hurry!
Hold on! You must remain conscious!
Baker: Yes... you're... right... People... are waiting... for... bread...
Huh? Ah! Hang on!
Can you hear me?! Don't let go! Don't die! Answer me! Hey! Answer me!
Answer me... please...
He holds something in his hand. A letter, perhaps?
"To my dear son Mark,
I've managed to quit drinking for good,
thanks to your encouraging letter.
So, I can finally come to see you.
We can finally live together again.
Your loving Papa"
... He was trying to send a letter to his son...
Should I... help her? What should I do? Mareg, what should I do...?
Dying Girl: Mom... my...? Good... It's Mom...my... Mom...my...is... warm...
...! ... Her heart... has stopped... beating.
Low blow, that.
Ryudo, don't worry about the statues! We must hurry! Let's go!
VIDEO: Love ("Video 1 ends" to skip screenshots if you're not interested in gameplay stuff)
Heh heh heh. Wait! Just stop your foolishness.
Selene! ... Did you order this!?
... Is this the will of Granas!? Why would you do such a thing!?
Saying it's the time of Valmar. Just whose side are you on!?
High Priestess Selene...
You probably do not understand...
What do you mean!?
It is the way of the world. Do you not think it is funny? Why so painful, you ask, why so ugly?
All... due to man's own sin. The desperate masses are powerless. Clinging to God, their hearts without faith!
Poor people. Death is their salvation. Did they not themselves pray for release from their suffering?
High Priestess Selene! Why was it necessary to go so far!?
Elena, have you forgotten your own mission?
Elena, just what is she tal--
Elena turns to Ryudo and shakes her head.
But I am different. To devote my life to His Holiness Zera. That alone is my wish!
Aaah. Why did you give me such a... sad test?
HP: ~35000/~20000/~20000 (from 21000/13000/13000)
Attack: ~1800 in a straight line
Special: Lifesteal on hit
Abilities: Avici Slash (~2500 damage to all), Aorta Pummel (~1900 damage, , Cancel), Black Fog Spew (~1200 damage in an AoE around it, )
Left Eye Abilities: Burn! (~1100), Burnflame (~1200), Burnstrike (~1900), Tremor (~1300), Quake (~1600)
Right Eye Abilities: Def-Loss, Diggin', Cold, Freeze, Runner, WOW!, Speedy, Snooze, Healer (~5000)
To start with, you definitely need protection from every status effect it can throw at you, but that's easy to achieve at this point in the game. After that, there's basically three ways you can go about fighting the Heart, depending on which part you kill first.
The Right Eye, being weak to fire, is definitely the easiest to kill, but probably the riskiest. Destroying it removes the Heart's ability to heal outside of lifesteal, but you'll be taking the full brunt of its attacks until then, meaning it might throw an instant kill at you like Avici Slash + Quake.
Going straight for the Heart is a crapshoot. Focusing attacks on it means it'll get canceled quite a bit, lowering the chances of a party wipe, but the Right Eye can just decide it's had enough of you and start casting Healer every other turn. The Heart stands a pretty good chance of winning that particular war of attrition.
The Left Eye is probably the safest option. The Heart pretty much can't kill you without its help, so keeping it pinned down and eventually removing it entirely is a great way to not get crushed. The only real danger is that the Right Eye might decide to start healing it, but since it has lower health and takes plenty of damage from both fire and ice spells, it's easier to handle than the Heart itself. You can then finish the fight at your leisure.
Regardless of your choice, there's a lot of randomness involved, which is why I didn't give it a difficulty rating. Most of the Heart's abilities are just plain weak save for its Avici Slash, so the difficulty of the fight is directly proportional to how many of those it throws out. Killing the Left Eye first just happens to be the best way to avoid both attrition and instant death.
On the bug side of things, the sludge in the pre-fight cutscene moves too fast and gets cut off, the battle transition animation doesn't play correctly, Avici Slash looks terrible, killing one eye visually removes the other for some reason and there's something really weird going on with the Heart's textures in the PC Version (right):
Bug Count: 37
Good night, Selene.
Video 1 ends.
Did you just absorb a Piece of Valmar!? How can you be...
How could High Priestess Selene have been possessed by... the Heart of Valmar...?
Elena! What the hell are you doing?
His Holiness Zera assigned me a task. Which I have just completed.
In order to prevent Valmar's awakening, His Holiness Zera asked me to collect all the pieces... and absorb them into me...
...And then... the Granasaber shall be used to destroy me... and Valmar as well.
That second one, especially.
So please, do not come any further! I don't want to see your heart destroyed!
Elena runs into the Cathedral.
Look... I don't want to see her soul destroyed either.
Should we not follow her?
Elena's intent is not to die needlessly. She does her best to live for your sake! You know what you must do, Ryudo.
... Yeah, I guess.
...fine, then. Plan B.
What happened here? Hey, pull yourself together!
Holy Door... what did Zera see... inside...?
Zera! We must find him quickly!
The Holy Door... what is that...?
Hmm... Elena's scent hangs yet in the air... There... these stairs...
Yes. And upon my honor, Elena is here as well, for I cannot mistake her scent.
Yeah, the floor being cut off by a bug in the port is pretty sad. Bug Count: 38.
...... Your Holiness Zera! Did you know that High Priestess Selene... was possessed by the Heart of Valmar!?
Yes. Well, I... Huh?
Well, if it's not Mister Ryudo. Thank you. You have done well.
Ryudo! I told you not to come... Pope Zera, please destroy Valmar, quickly! I beg you, please!
Preparations for the ceremony are complete.
No. Now all I need is you.
Ah, please wait, Elena. I must give Ryudo his reward!
First, let me show you the real world. Everyone, please come! Come, this way.
Elena follows, and so do we.
Due to technical difficulties, I present the following cutscene in the form of a video playlist. That aside, you should definitely watch it. "Video 2 ends" to get to the end of the update.
Yet, the world is covered in Darkness and is now headed for certain destruction.
Are not the preparations for sealing Valmar already complete!? All we need is the blessing of Lord Granas.
Yes, that is certainly so. Yet Darkness is strong and Light is weak... Why do you think that is?
Men too fought for Light or Darkness. Hence, the Battle of Good and Evil began. It was this battle that put an end to the rivalry between Granas and Valmar, good and evil. Come, you too should bear witness to the truth.
(on the off chance that you can listen to mp3s but not watch videos, here is the music and narration for the following FMV)
Long, long ago, the people lived happily, basking in the light of Lord Granas' love.
The world was bountiful, filled with radiant beauty... but...
... but then, Valmar arrived...
... and brought the taint of Darkness to the world...
... staining the pure and innocent hearts of the people.
The battle between Light and Darkness was inevitable.
The battleground stretched as far as the eye could see.
And the fighting...
... continued endlessly, with neither side yielding an inch.
Finally, the time had come for Lord Granas and Valmar to face eachother.
To settle the long, endless battle.
How could that be? That... was the end of the Battle of Good and Evil?
Lord Granas died.
Long, long ago.
Valmar was victorious in battle.
Yes. That is why there is no light in man's soul. Now that Granas is dead, there is no way to prevent the Revival of Valmar...
The world is certainly doomed.
WHAT!? Then why did you make us hunt for the Granasaber?!
You could never use the sword of a dead God to defeat Valmar... who is about to be newly reborn.
You cannot be Pope Zera...
My purpose was to release the Body of Valmar that was sealed together with the Granasaber!
Wha- what did you say!? You can't!
Yes. Selene too performed her last service. It was for that purpose that I planted the Heart of Valmar within her.
My goal is the REVIVAL OF VALMAR!!
You FOOL! The devil's trade is in damnation. And your dealings will damn us all, even yourself!
Eh heh heh. That I know well! Yet to save this doomed world we have no choice but to use the power of Valmar!
You Highness Zera... NOOOOooooo!
As I promised, I shall drive Millenia from you. I shall drive out Darkness and sin.
Now, come to me!
Video 2 ends.
What course of action do you suggest?
We can go to the moon on the Granasaber.
... But, there is barely enough energy. And there is the risk that the Horns within Ryudo will be activated...
... I know. But I can't just abandon her!
I won't let you get away... Zera! You won't get your way!!
I'll save my comments until next update. For now, I'll simply bump the bug counter up to 40 for a bunch of flickering in that last cutscene and a bit I edited out wherein Tio decides she's in the wrong spot for the FMV to start and zips like a meter to one side.
Official Art: The Granasaber; Selene