Part 11: Episode IX: A Royal Audience
Music: March of the Brave
Well, that was a fairly swift bypass of a mountain range. We find ourselves back on the overworld map. If youre finding it slightly difficult to follow our journeys progress, thats fine. I couldnt say I had a great bearing on the world early on either while playing, since theres no darn world map... in game. Turns out they actually did make one for the big ol obligatory Japanese only art book for the game. Check it:
Yeah, its not labeled or anything. But this is the layout of the world. Spoilers! Ill just go ahead and denote our progress thus far myself below here...
Heres our journey thus far. We still have a wee bit of the world to explore. But hey, it is only Chapter 4 of 13. Well get there eventually.
For now, were going to head a bit northwest of the Frost Caves, where we come upon the namesake of the Floneia Territories: Floneia Citadel.
New Music: A Sense of Safety
Maybe hell be able to help us...
Mhm. Sure he will. Right after we deal with whatever local BS problem is plaguing the land.
No. I hear its pretty peaceful around here.
Yeah, Ill believe it when I see it.
The party advances along the bridge and comes upon another cutscene of a group at the Citadels gates. The whole extra party member popping in and out of existence gets real weird when the game pulls the walk five feet to the next cutscene thing. Its like Aeterna is out of phase with this dimension like Dr. Manhattan or some shit.
The sick and wounded are well cared for, and those with no one else to turn to are warmly received.
*sweats* Oh... umm... but we... Our village was attacked by monsters... We escaped with only the clothes on our backs... so... we...
*shakes head* Oh, is that all? Theres no need to worry about money! Lord Avalo is a man of great benevolence!
Oh, my... what a great man His Lordship truly is...
*tugs at mothers dress* Will I be able to make new friends?
*turns to child* Yes, Im sure youll make a lot of friends.
*jumps excitedly* Hehe... All right! Hooray for His Lordship!
*motions to nearby soldier* This man will show you to the village.
Thank you... thank you so much for everything...
*leads the civilians off to the world map*
See? This place is fine.
Man those two are SUPER dead.
Oh cmon. Theyre going to Tenderville where all refugees can hang out peacefully for free? Gimme a break. Theyre making people into food or doing sacrifices to demons or something dark over there.
Endir... Dont you think that sounds kind of...
Tch. Alright... You all put on your best surprised faces when this all turns out to be something sinister.
Hmm? You want to go to Tenderville too, do you?
No? Then what business do you have here in Floneia? If you wish to be granted entry to the citadel, you must first state your identity.
Were here with the Sacrifice.
The proper noun important one. Not some goat for your pagan god youre sacrificing innocent to in that Tendertown joint.
Dont listen to him.
My name is Setsuna. I am traveling to the Last Lands in order to offer myself up as a sacrifice. We have come here in the hope that His Lordship will offer us his assistance.
*sweats* What!? You should have said so sooner! I hope I have caused no offense... Please, enter. Lord Avalo is in the castle to the north of the town.
Alright, we have free reign to wander the town. There are a bit more points of interest here than the previous couple of villages weve encountered.
Im not going to bother transcribing the inane chatter of every nameless NPC wandering the town. The gist of the word around town is every loves the Lord Avalo because hes kind and fair. Theres no monsters ever attacking Floneia since he took over and thats sweet. Also Tenderville is a cool place out past the woods where all the refugees and vagabonds can live safely from monster attacks (but not shit up the property value and unemployment rates of this fine city.) Also, apparently the previous lord of Floneia was removed suddenly by his son. But that guy sucked and let monsters attack all the time under his watch. So fuck that guy.
There are quite a bit of houses we can barge into to chatter with people about nothing particularly important. There is one home to the right of the town square that does have a noteworthy looting spot.
Upstairs in this private home, we find a Talisman that has the Bonus Effect of allowing us to see what the hell enemy HP is in battle. Theres literally no way to do that prior to this point. Well go ahead and slam that on Nidr, since his default talisman is useless trash.
To the left of the town square, we find Weppy & Tallis item shop. The proprietor has a whole new assortment of weapons for the party. Well just remember hes here for now. We ought to sell off all our excess materials before splurging on new equipment.
And it just so happens theres a Pub filled with all the usual merchant suspects right next to the arms dealer. Dont ask how the merchants all move between towns well ahead of our party, who is taking literally the only available sealed, monster filled path to the next locale. Its not a question worth exploring.
The only non-merchant fellow in the pub is a grumpy looking man with quite the afro who is the only person in town who thinks the current Lord Avalo is a right tosser and the old Lord Dinas was way better. Some people just hate change.
While were in the neighborhood, we can hit up Lutius to dump all our spare Materials from the Frost Caves on for a tidy 9000G profit. Ill take it.
We can also acquire a few new Spritnite from our collection. This here, Shock, is the most important of the lot. Shock itself is poorly named, since despite the name it is a Null (physical) attack. Its not great on its own. Its kind of just another Cyclone with less range. What is important about it is that it unlocks a combo with Nidrs Provoke Tech. And that combo, Browbeat, is BROKEN AS HELL. Like to the point it will remain one of the best attacks for the entirety of the game.
But well check that out later when we return to combat.
We also acquired Enthunder for Setsuna. The En<damage type> series of Techs are all just elemental buffs. They have their uses.
Lastly, we have our first Support Spritnite. These can be equipped on anyone (and require their own Talisman slots separate from normal Techs.) Theyre mostly general buffs. Again, they have their uses but I never found them tremendously necessary in battle.
Heading back out into town proper, the layout of Floneia is like a big A turned counter-clockwise on its side. In the center we have this huge art installation. Dont ask me why theres a Stargate with floating chunks in the middle of town. I was never big on modern art. It has no particular use.
On the western edge of town we have the harbor. No entry is allowed at this time. Apparently, thats an airship docked there at the moment. Very interesting.
To the north of town, we have the entrance to the castZOAH? ZOAH, is that you...? Damn, its been years! How ya been, guy? Oh... Whats that? ZOAH is your cousin? Youre Noah? Ah... Shucks. Well, tell that knucklehead I said hi next time you see him.
Oh well. Lets move on to the castle proper and see whats shakin with this Lord Avalo.
New Music: The Royal Host
Theres not much at all to the Floneia Castle. Indeed, its just this hall with two dead ends on both sides and a path straight to the throne room. At least we cant get lost...
So you are the next sacrifice?
Avalo approaches the party...
I received word that your ship had sunk, and feared the worst... I am relieved to see you are safe!
There is no need to thank me... In comparison to monsters, humans are weak creatures. Thus, they require protection. As sacrifice, you are to offer up your life in order to protect this whole land... As lord of this citadel, I must work to protect my people... Although the difference in scale may be vast, each of us plays a vital role. As luck would have it, we still have an operable airship here. I shall see that you are taken as close to the Last Lands as possible.
Thank you very much for your kindness.
(This sounds way too sweet. Theres gotta be a catch.)
*rubs beard* However... Certain circumstances prevent me from sending out the ship immediately... I am afraid you will have to wait for a little while.
Is there something wrong?
Akash, the shipwright, is missing. The ship cannot be flown without him.
(And there it is...)
*shakes head* He is a skilled man... but a difficult one. Where on earth could he have hidden himself... Anyway, my men will find him. As soon as they do, I shall have the ship readied for you posthaste! Until then, please make yourselves comfortable here in town.
Welp. Guess well just have to kill some time seeing the sights. If we speak to Avalo again, he mentions...
And who must suffer the consequences of those errors? The townspeople, of course!
I think this Lord might be a bit too old to still be going NO FUCK YOU DAD! But what do I know? Anyway, lets mosey...
*shakes head* I hope nothing sinister is going on...
Its been quite a while now since we set out on our journey.
All this time, the monsters have been increasing in number, and growing ever more ferocious... I hope we dont end up having to find another way to continue our journey...
*sweat drop* Damn, youre all doom and gloom, aint ya...
Oh, I cant voice my doubts but Endir can go off all day with his conspiracy theories?
My suspicious are backed up by world experience and study. Youre just being a wet blanket.
Well just have to do everything we can to make sure that doesnt happen.
Lets make ourselves comfortable.
Sure, the king probably has some hedonistic death cult out in the woods sacrificing children to dark gods to keep monsters at bay or something. But no use rocking the boat. I dunno about you all, but Im sick of walking and an airship ride sounds pretty sweet.
I guess... but after what Miss Doom n Gloom said, I dont feel very comfortable at all... I aint got a clue how were gonna set about lookin for a shipwright weve never even met... But if we can find just one lead, that should help speed up our departure that lil bit...
Or we could just go hit up the pub and have a few pints until the guy pops up on his own.
That could take days for all we know.
Shes right. We oughta at least make an attempt to find the guy.
*nods* Yes, youre right. Someone might know something, so lets have a look around town.
...Fiiiine. You guys win.
*departs for the astral plane*
Alright, our new goal is slumming around town asking everyone where the hell this Akash guy might be. Nobody thinks to ask Lord Avalo what the heck the guy looks like so we can help. Oh well. Lets try some people weve already spoken with here...
Music: A Sense of Safety
HOW ABOUT ASKING THE GUARD AT THE TOWN ENTRANCE?
Hey thanks, NOAH. Well try that out. We can ask others in town and the near universal reply is Nope, aint seen him... But [TENDERVILLE] sure is taking in a lot of people. Hint. Hint.
Before we depart, we may as well outfit everyone with some new weapons. Were we tighter on cash, we could forgo Setsunas upgrade for a bit. We wont be using her a whole lot coming up. But hey, were pretty flush in the ol war chest. So lets upgrade everyone.
Endir gets a new Time augmented sword. Though Timefrost sounds like some marketing jargon for a new model of refrigerator a salesman is pitching at a Sears.
Setsuna gets a slightly less absurd looking hair ornament compared to her hair shuriken. If it wasnt the size of a dinner plate, I could see someone wearing something like this in their hair. It gives a rather substantial boost to her Magical Attack. So thats nice.
Aeternas new dagger no longer has Time element added to it. But thats fine, with Endir picking up that trait with his upgrade. At least Aegis is enough of a generic term that it isnt directly linked to something from Chrono Trigger.
Finally, Nidrs upgrade has probably the least impressive stat boost of the lot since he did just join about 40 minutes ago in-game. But hey, its a way sicker weapon design compared to his default sword. Fashion is always more important than utility.
Well, with that out of the way, lets go speak with the guard from the beginning of town...
If hes nowhere to be found inside the town, I suppose that just leaves Tenderville. But I cant leave my post, so I dont know what Im supposed to do...
Oh, just leave it to us you nitwit. Tune in next time in which we begin our trek to Tenderville!
Floneian Citadel Concept Art Not sure what became of the energy channeling stones surrounding the town. Probably best not to ask.
Video: The Vanishing of Aeterna (You should watch this)