Part 15: Runs In The Family
Welcome back. Last time on Last Scenario, we were joined by a cloaked man named Ethan, who called Zawu a liar and helped us fight off the Riftgate she left behind as she escaped. Following that, the party resolved to head to the Empire to learn more about the demons of legend and hopefully find help against the Kingdom's forces that want to capture Lorenza. But before we ran off to the Empire, Matilda reminded us that we needed to check on the party's loved ones first and ensure that they were safe. We found Valentin after he beat us to Lunei, somehow, but when we returned to Whitelake to find Joanna, we learned that she had been captured, and that her kidnappers were willing to trade her for Lorenza. Obviously we're not going to go along with that, so it's time for us to go rescue her. Let's get to it.
As was mentioned last update, Joanna's captors are holding her in the abandoned copper mine, so it's time for us to return to the very first dungeon.
They must be in the deeper part of the mine.
Have you been here before?
Yeah, a couple of times. The lower mines used to be closed off due to a tunnel collapsing, though. The passage leading there is about halfway down to the bottom, near a long bridge.
We'll definitely see you again later. Let's go!
And now we get to breeze through the dungeon. Ethan and Lorenza have left us for the time being, which means we're down to a three-man party, but the enemies here are so weak that we can waltz on through without taking any damage whatsoever.
Our destination is this opening some ways into the mine. If you'll recall, the first time we were here, this tunnel was collapsed and we had to rotate the bridge to continue on. Now we can just head on through.
Well that's just fucking great. Did we actually think this plan through?
Why would we hide in the far back of the mine? Why not near the entrance? Did you never stop and think about that?
You bastard! Don't think you've won! You'll never get your hands on Lorenza!
I see you didn't bring her with you. Maybe you're not as stupid as I thought. But with her friends all held captive, will she really be able to walk away, I wonder?
Just try to capture us! Come over here and I'll bash your face in!
No, thank you. I prefer to handle these things without fighting.
I see we're off to a great start.
Why did you ask me to guard you? You asked me for a reason, right?
I wanted to know who you are.
I've told you. I don't remember who I am.
You've been talking to someone at night. That story about a tracking device was a lie, wasn't it?
You saw me? Why didn't you tell the others about it?
A bad guy... What if you were doing something wrong without realizing it? Would that make you a bad guy?
I just wanted to know why you're hiding things from us, if you're on our side.
... The man I tried to contact is an ally. He is the one who freed me. But after I got out, he fell into the hands of the enemy.
What are you going to do? Will you tell Hilbert about this?
No. I trust you.
If you promise that you'll keep it a secret, I'll tell you something else.
Okay, I promise.
Fade to black...
Are we still in the mine?
It seems so. There are no doors anywhere, but all our equipment was taken.
We got ourselves into a bad mess... Where's Hilbert?
He was taken to a different room, but no doubt he's in the same situation.
What do you think our chances are?
The guards are Kingdom soldiers, and there's at least a dozen of them.
There's also their leader.
Yes. We shouldn't underestimate him.
This is just great.
Back with Hilbert...
As Hilbert gets up, we're immediately given control.
Just as Thorve said, our equipment is gone, along with all of our items and spellcards. Guess it's time to see if we can find a way out of this mess.
Talking to the guard doesn't do anything, so instead let's go see what's in the room to the east.
Are you all right?
Why did this happen to me? What did you do? I'm... I'm so scared.
It's okay now. I'm here. We'll be okay.
It's not okay. Why can't you see that? They broke into my home in the middle of the night and kidnapped me! I just wanted to live a normal life. I didn't want to get involved in your stupid dreams! I didn't want any of this!
What... what do you mean?
You just don't understand. Ever since mother and father died, I always, always had to take care of you. You were always doing what you wanted, getting into trouble all the time. When you left town, I thought I could finally think about myself for once. I thought I could live normally. Then why did this have to happen!? I did everything for you! Is it too much to ask that I get to live my own life?
I was... a burden on you? I'm... I'm really sorry, Joanna. I didn't want you to get involved in this. I've always tried to protect you.
You're right. I only cause trouble for others. I thought I could get you out of here, but in the end I just made it worse... Really... nothing I do ever works out. I only make more and more enemies. I can't even go back to the capital. I'm... really just... You'd be better off without me.
Fade to black...
Yes, a long time ago. Before I was imprisoned.
Where? What were they like? Did... did you see my grandfather there?
Your grandfather... He is Barasur the Elder, isn't he? I've seen him, yes, but I've never spoken to him in person. The real leader of the Havali is a man named Ortas. Even I don't know much about him.
For a long time, I wanted nothing more than to see my homeland and meet my people. But now... I'm not sure anymore. The more I hear about them, the more I understand why my father left them. Are they really trying to revive the demons?
I don't know. The demons in the legend are not something they can just control.
Fade to black...
One of them ran away! Find 'em!
You hear that?
Did Hilbert try to break out?
We've got no choice. If we're going to try anything, we have to do it now. Let's go!
Fade to black...
This will have to do.
And we're tossed into a fight with a Kingdom Soldier. As with the night mission in Herzog, the stealthy music continues playing during battles.
Even without equipment, this fight is a joke. Matilda and Thorve take him down in three attacks. Although SCF understandably didn't draw a whole new battle sprite for this five-minute segment to show our characters without weapons, the animation is different and the sound effect changes into one that sounds like a punch. It's a nice touch.
And we now control Matilda.
The first order of business is to actually equip that Iron Lance we stole, because Matilda took it and yet somehow managed to not put it into her hands. I'm not even going to attempt to understand that.
The room just to the north of our starting position is the room where Hilbert was, but both he and Joanna are gone. Hilbert we heard get away, but where's Joanna run off to?
We continue on and run into a few more soldiers. Like in the first half of Fort Walstein, the only battles in this area are against soldiers on the field. These chumps go down as quickly as the first guy.
Behind them is a chest. Well, this is an RPG, surely they've dumped our equipment in here!
Huh, guess not. Matilda will actually comment on this:
Just like I thought, they're not keeping our equipment here. Their leader is probably guarding it himself.
Anyway, there's not much more to this segment. We run into one last group of soldiers, and then...
Don't tell me to relax. I know why you're here. It's not just to talk.
I heard you escaped, but I didn't think I'd run into you all the way out here.
Did you know? About what happened to me? I met Zawu, and she thought I was dead. What did Castor tell you?
What can I say? You brought it on yourself. I got nothing against you, but that's just how it is. You're the one who betrayed us.
No one deserves what you put me through. No one. I can't forgive him.
Hey, I'm not asking you to. If you hate all of us now, nothing I can do about it. What's done is done. Anyway, I'm not here for you. I thought I was lucky when I saw the girl here, but if you're with her that makes it a bit more difficult.
I won't let you have her. If I lose her, then Hilbert and his friends have been fighting for nothing. I'll protect her with my life.
They've gone to rescue her, huh? I don't give them much of a chance, not against Helio. As for me, well... You were always the strongest one of the team. But an order's an order, you know? I can't go back without at least trying.
Come and try, then.
Fade to black...
If you tell me where Lorenza is then I'll let your sister go, of course.
Hilbert jumps at Helio, but he dodges out of the way.
Oh? Is that how desperate you are? You want to fight me unarmed? Haha, you're welcome to try.
And we're tossed into a fight with no music.
Helio has a number of techniques, but there's not much point in documenting them at the moment because this fight can't be won. Like Felgorn, Helio will cheat his way out of death if you're somehow strong enough to beat him here.
In the end, poison takes Hilbert out.
St... Stay out of this...
Have you gone crazy? What are you trying to do by yourself!?
It's okay... Even if I die, Joanna won't be involved in this anymore... You'll all be able to live normal lives.
What are you talking about!? We're coming over to help!
You... you two broke out? Did you rescue Joanna too?
I didn't see your sister anywhere. Isn't she with you?
Holy shit! Setting aside for the moment the question of how the fuck Joanna just pulled this off, looks like Hilbert's not the only one who got Alexander's hero genes!
Joanna!? You did this?
You can't give up now, Hilbert! I'm sorry for what I said to you! It's true that you've caused me trouble and I was angry with you, but... You're my only family! If you died, I wouldn't know what to do!
Joanna... I understand!
Having your weapons back won't change anything. I'm the Omega Team's Number Two, after all. Be good boys and girls and go back to your cells.
And we're tossed into the menu for... Lorenza and Ethan? Well okay, guess we're taking care of that Earp fellow first. The two of them are already set up as far as equipment and spellcards go, so let's get to it.
BOSS FIGHT: Earp
The Omega Team members get their own battle music, and it's probably one of my favorite tracks in the game. There's few other songs in Last Scenario that sound quite as action-packed.
As you can probably tell from his appearance and stats, Earp is not one to care much about magic. Unfortunately we're forced to pass up his Hard Plate, as we only have one Steal spellcard and equipping it here means the other party can't use it. Shouldn't be too big of a loss though.
Earp has a fair bit of punch behind his attacks, but all of his moves are physical, so getting P-Shields up on our party members pretty much trivializes the fight. Even without them, both Lorenza and Ethan are faster than Earp is, so they can easily heal themselves up if it looks like they're in any danger.
Aside from his regular attack, Earp's only attack technique is Cross Cut, which hits the whole party. Again, though, with P-Shields up this technique is pretty much ignorable.
If you do happen to come into this fight without a P-Shield spellcard, Earp can pose a bit of a threat, as he counters all attacks, physical and magical, with the fairly powerful Counter-Attack.
Still, he only has 800 HP and Lorenza can knock off over 100 of that with a single spell, so the battle doesn't last very long.
We don't get anything new as a reward--we've already seen the Soul Elixir and we own a copy of the Orc Hex tile.
It's a shame you had to leave us, Ethan. I've always liked you. If you ever change your mind... Well, I guess it's too late for that.
Fade to black...
And now it's Hilbert, Matilda, and Thorve's turn.
It's important to remember that unlike Ethan and Lorenza, our three party members here need to have all their equipment and spellcards manually re-equipped. While the game let us save before the Earp fight, it won't let us save here, so unless you want to fight Earp again you'd better make sure to do this. Once we're ready...
BOSS FIGHT: Helio
Let's try this again.
In an interesting touch, Helio has a much higher max HP than Earp did, but he begins the battle missing more than two-thirds of it due to all those rocks falling on his head. I like to think that the max HP difference is due to the fact that Earp only needed to lose 800 HP before realizing he had no chance, while Helio would have been perfectly willing to fight us to the death even at full health. We've already got a copy of the Swirling Ring he carries (it prevents poison, blind, and silence), but a second one never hurts.
As he demonstrated earlier this update, Helio's preferred method of attack is with bombs. Frost Bomb deals a small amount of ice damage and inflicts slow, but Hilbert's Fur Hat and Clock Spring prevent both. Hilbert is the only one who needs to worry about getting slowed in this fight, as Matilda and Thorve are slower than Helio to begin with. Though in a strange twist, when both of them are slowed, Matilda is faster than Thorve, even though she isn't normally.
Although he didn't show it in this fight, Helio also has access to Gas Bomb, a similar move which inflicts sleep instead of slow. This is a much more debilitating status, so I'm fortunate I didn't see it.
Helio also will occasionally use Poison Claw, which deals a fair chunk of damage and, well, inflicts poison. The poison status doesn't necessarily stick, though--Matilda has no protection against it but the poison didn't kick in.
Like Earp, Helio isn't too big of a deal, because his relatively low HP means the fight can't drag on long enough for him to KO anyone, especially against three characters instead of two. Hilbert swipes the Swirling Ring in the nick of time. Hey Helio!
Go to hell.
Helio's rewards are much nicer than Earp's. Along with the rare Healing Orb, he drops the new Starshine Hex tile for us.
Three against one is... a little too much. I'm out of here.
Did we... did we really make it?
I doubt he's got any backup nearby, so... yeah, we're free to go.
We should still be careful when we're leaving, though. That man was very cunning, he may have another plan.
I don't think so. He never expected to lose, that much is obvious.
You actually did it this time, Hilbert. You really saved me.
But... it was all thanks to your help.
That's not true. I didn't do much. You're the one who chased him off.
So... I'm sorry.
No, it's me who should be sorry.
Uhm... We really should get out of here first.
Fade to black...
All of this happened because of me, so I was really worried.
Well, it turned out fine in the end. Both you and Joanna are safe now.
That's right, but we still have to be careful in the future. We weren't expecting this kind of thing to happen. From now on, we have to make sure our close relatives are somewhere safe.
After this, I wouldn't want to stay here anymore either... but where would I be safe?
Valentin is in Lunei Village, which is safer than here, but not by much. We need to find an actual city that's willing to protect us...
I did, but it's not looking good. The rumors we heard are true. The Emperor was found dead, and now the country is on the brink of a civil war.
No way. All of this happened in the time after we left?
Yes. After the Emperor's death, Princess Helga took the throne and blamed the murder on the Republic.
Which is probably all lies, knowing her. I bet she set it up herself.
Most likely. And it seems we're not the only ones to think so. The area around the capital is in the new Empress's hands, but the southwest is rebelling against her.
That sounds a lot closer to the truth. What do you know about this Wilhelm, Thorve?
Not much. He's about your age, so he was just a child when I left the Empire. I've heard that he's an intelligent young man who doesn't appear in public much.
Hmmm... That Helga woman is the last person I'd want to ask for help from. What do you think, Thorve? Would it be a good idea to join the other side?
In any case, it's the only place we may find refuge at the moment.
I understand. We've got nowhere to go right now, so I think we should at least give it a try. What's the fastest way to get there?
We'll have to go by land. The quickest route would be to cross the forests west of Ft. Walstein. If we return to Lunei Village, we'll just have to head straight west from there.
Okay, I got it. Joanna, will you come with us? It'd be the safest, for now.
I'll stay with you, Hilbert.
Don't worry, it's only temporary.
Next time: So why'd Thorve leave the Empire, anyway?