Part 20: Too Late To Turn Back
Welcome back. Last time on Last Scenario, we headed to the mining town of Kohlen to defend some supplies as they were being shipped to Fardorf. But in an utterly shocking turn of events, the town was attacked. After a brief reconnaissance, during which we learned that Tazar was leading the Empress's army, we escaped with the supplies using a mineshaft that led beyond the town's borders. With this new information, we've returned to Grauss and proposed attacking Tazar's camp, with the objective of either killing him or enticing him to run--either of which will break the Empress's army's morale. Grauss has, for once, agreed to our plan, so let's get to it.
We begin this update in the Fardorf fort, just after having talked to Grauss. If you'll recall, Grauss mentioned at the end of last update that Wilhelm wanted to speak to Hilbert. So before we go anywhere we should probably take care of that.
Yes, thank you for coming. I heard about what you did on your mission. You all risked your lives to save our supplies. What was the General's reaction like?
Hmm... same as usual, I guess. He didn't look happy about it or anything.
I'm sure he's grateful too, but doesn't want to show it. We already owe you a lot.
It... It's not that much. We were just doing what we could.
Hilbert... We're about the same age, but you're so different from me.
I have to wonder what qualities Hilbert has shown that would make Wilhelm want this. Does he want to be more naive? Does he want to share Hilbert's all-consuming desire to be a hero? What is it?
Be more like me? ... I don't know. I just do what comes naturally to me. I don't think I'm that great a person.
So, do you think anyone could do it, if they really had to? Even someone like me?
Maybe that's what it is. I don't really think about things like that. Besides, I don't know if I could tell a prince what he should be doing.
I see... Well, thank you for talking to me. I'll try to do my best.
Okay, that was a really fucking vague conversation. What were they even talking about at the end there?
I'm not asking much of you. Just one girl. And you still haven't succeeded. We made you General of the Rosehart army, and what have you done for us in return so far? Nothing.
Have you ever looked outside? Taken a good look at the world? I have given you war. A great war. I've done more for you than you realize. That girl? She's of little importance. If everything goes as planned, we won't even need her.
I'm getting tired of this, Castor. How much do you think you know? You talk big, but've done little to back it up. You even let Ethan slip through your fingers. You really are only a child.
You worry too much about the details. What's important is that--
You lied to me! Why!?
Lie? How did I lie to you?
Don't pretend you have no idea! Ethan is not dead! I've seen him!
It was better that you didn't know. You've always treated him like a son, after all. He betrayed us, Zawu. He had to pay the price. What did you expect me to do?
How much more are you hiding from me? Are you hiding things from Master Ortas as well? Why was Ethan held at the factory you built in the far north? What did you do to him? I know you had large amounts of the glowing rock shipped to that place.
Just wanted to highlight this, since it's the first time we're told that that strange glowing rock has a name. Not that it means anything to us just yet, but it's nice to not have to refer to it as "that strange glowing rock" anymore.
What are you doing with that?
Ha ha... I see I have your attention now. Let me tell you what I'm doing, Ortas. I am trying to make an artificial Key.
An artificial Key? That's possible?
I will tell you all the details later, but first... Zawu, I answered your questions. Don't you think it's time to go now? Isn't your subject now fighting against the Empress? I heard you lost control of him. Shouldn't you be doing something about that?
The one who is going out of control here is you, Castor. You're losing sight of what's important. Have you forgotten everything that Ethan and I have done for you?
No, I still remember what happened in Cromwell, fourteen years ago, when the Imperial army came. I remember what you did for me. But I've changed, Zawu. I'm no longer the same. I've surpassed you.
... I'm going back.
Back with Hilbert...
You head to the forests west of Antar Camp and try to find a way in.
Yes, we'll make our way through the forest as fast as we can. As soon as the attack begins, we'll enter and go after Tazar.
Fade to black...
We're dumped on the world map following the scene.
If you'll recall, I pointed out last update that there was a forest next to the Antar Camp that we could enter, but that at the time there was no point. Well, there's a point now. Let's head inside.
The Antar Woods are a fairly small dungeon, but there's still a bunch of new monsters here, as well as some decent treasure.
That said, the monsters are almost all recolors. First up are some Green Bats and a Deathgaze. Green bats have very low HP, but they're quick and only Hilbert can move before them. They have a 30-damage regular attack as well as a technique called Life Suck that steals about 25 HP from the target. As for the Deathgaze, it turns out that it's aptly named, as in addition to a 40-damage regular attack and a technique called Disorient that deals 80 damage and inflicts chaos, they can use Deathly Gaze to instantly kill a character. Both it and Disorient are rare though.
A bit north of the entrance we find some good treasure, the Ice Cube being an attack item that casts Iceblast. I'm not sure how one conjures a powerful magic spell that freezes enemies solid out of a regular piece of ice, but what do I know?
We head east next and run into some Timber Wolves. These guys are pretty boring, with only a regular attack for about 30 damage. They go down pretty quick.
Then we continue north, but we run into a wall.
So, there are Wood Walls that appear as random encounters in this area. They are just that, wood walls. They don't have any techniques, or any monsters hiding behind them or anything. They don't attack, or defend, or even get turns for that matter. They just sit there and you wail on them until they die. Also it's somehow possible to steal from them--they carry Key Tablet Is if you're so inclined.
Weirder still, defeating a Wood Wall gives more than double the experience of any monster in the area.
Nearby, we find a new second-tier attack spellcard.
Fireball (25MP): Deals moderate fire damage to one enemy.
Crisis: M-Fireball (35MP): Deals moderate fire damage to all enemies.
Stat changes: -2% max HP, +3% max MP
Lorenza equips it in place of Iceblast for the time being. Having a spell that can hit all enemies is nice for regular battles, especially compared to one that ignores enemy RES when regular enemies don't have that much RES to start with.
There's a bit more treasure a little further on. The Running Shoes grant +15 SPD, and the Crossbow is a weapon for Hilbert that slightly outdoes his current Recurve Bow.
Then we hit a save point...
... and beyond that, a dead end. Had we come here before coming up with the plan to infiltrate Antar Camp, this would have been a simple dead end and that would have been that. Now, however, a scene starts.
This is a good place to approach it from. It won't be too hard to climb the walls when they're distracted.
It shouldn't be long until the attack begins. Let's just wait here.
So the Empire's new Chief General's your old boss? Are you all right with fighting him directly?
Well, we didn't have a very good relation with him... Matilda in particular.
Gotta love sprite-Matilda's look here.
When our outpost was under attack, he defected to the Empire to save his skin while leaving his men to die. I lost two friends that day. If it weren't for him, Selene and Jord would still be alive. It hurts, seeing him do so well now. I don't know about you all, but me... I want to make him pay for everything he's done.
This is my homeland. I was born on the same soil as the men we're about to attack. All of them are fighting to survive or fighting for what they believe in. They don't know the truth. They are the ones I feel for...
Yeah... I think we all feel the same way.
Fade to black...
Did you see something?
I thought I saw something move in the woods over there. Must've been my imagination...
Fade to black...
No, our main concern was cutting off the rebels' supplies. Their last convoy still got through, but if we can draw out this war then we'll win easily.
What is it? We're busy.
It's the enemy! We're under attack!
W-What? How many of them?
Thousands of them! It has to be an all-out attack!
Are... Are you serious!? That can't be right. What happened to Kohlen?
No word from them at all. They must've bypassed the town completely. What are your orders?
Yes, Tazar, that's usually what generals do, give orders.
Just do something! Do everything you can to keep them out! We have the advantage here! We can't lose!
Fade to black...
Hilbert vaults over the wall, and we're immediately given control. Like Fort Walstein, there are no random encounters here, but battles can still occur if we run into enemy soldiers.
First order of business in the camp is a small treasure room.
Along with some nice items, the game appears to have decided that since it's going to give us second-tier attack magic, it might as well give us second-tier recovery magic as well:
Heal (18MP): Restores a moderate amount of HP to one ally.
Crisis: M-Heal (30MP): Restores a moderate amount of HP to all allies.
Stat changes: -3% max HP, +3% max MP
Like the second-tier attack magic, Heal comes at a time when Cure is starting to show its age. At this point in the game Cure restores about 100 HP, which was great early in the game, but not as helpful now that our characters are nearing HP maximums of 300 or so. Heal, meanwhile, restores anywhere from 250 to 400 HP at this point depending on who casts it, and that amount will only rise along with our characters' INT. Due to its high MP cost, Heal is more of a panic button than anything right now, but eventually we'll reach the point where it replaces Cure entirely.
Anyway, we move on and hit our first battle of the area. Despite the soldiers here looking exactly like the Imperial Soldiers and Imperial Sergeants in Fort Walstein (and the red ones still having the same name), the guy in the middle has ranked up to Imperial Lieutenant and all three enemies are much more powerful. All of them can attack for about 40-45 damage a pop, and each flavor has a new trick: Soldiers can throw Molotovs to hit everyone for about 40 damage, and the Lieutenants can cast Heal. They're still not much trouble though.
In all honesty there's not all that much to say about this segment due to the absence of any random encounters and the severe lack of enemy diversity. The Imperial Soldiers and Lieutenants we just saw are literally the only enemies that ever show up.
There's still some treasure to be found, though. The Silver Robe is a mage armor that grants better RES than anything we've seen so far.
There's also this rather interesting hallway. This is the Hall of Infinite Encounters.
If you try to head south here, three Imperial Soldiers will attack. But when the battle is over, you'll end up a few steps north of where the battle took place, and if you head south again, more soldiers will materialize out of nowhere. This repeats endlessly, so I have to presume that this is the way to the front entrance and SCF put the infinite encounters here to prevent the player from walking out the front door while the attack is going on.
To the northeast of the Hall of Infinite Encounters, we find a meeting room of sorts...
... and beyond that, the office where we saw Tazar just a moment ago.
Damn, did he take off?
There's no way he could have escaped already! Keep looking!
To the east of Tazar's office is an outdoor area with two paths onward. They both lead to the same room, but the northern path has some soldiers in the way, so we head through the southern door instead.
There's a few more attack items along the way...
... and to the north we find the final regular battle of this area.
We find Tazar walking away slowly, as though trying to sneak out. That certainly wouldn't surprise me.
Oh... uh... forget about it. What's the situation?
The gates are still holding, but it's only a matter of time until they break through. I'm sure we can stop them even if that happens, but we'll take heavy losses. Do you have any plans, General?
They've almost broken through!? Uhm... maybe we should retreat?
But... we can't abandon this position so easily! We can still win! General, I suggest we abandon the main gate and barricade the passage to hold them up.
That's impossible! Why are you here!?
I'm the one who should be asking that! Chief General of the Imperial army... Looks like your real colors are showing now. Whatever happened to being an agent for the Republic and trying to help your country, huh?
I... I didn't have a choice! It was either staying here as a General or going back home and facing punishment for my failures! Of course I accepted! Anyone would've done the same thing!
Every damn time, you made us do all the dirty work while you waited in safety. Every time things looked bad, you ran. You don't deserve this. None of this. You've never done anything worth an ounce of respect. You killed two of my men, Tazar. You killed them with your actions. You're a pest, a rat, and I'll make sure you won't run this time.
Now isn't that just a beautiful sight?
What do you want? Rank? Fame? Money? Just name it! I can get you whatever you want!
You just don't get it, do you?
W-Wait! Please! Lieutenant Thorve! You're a rational man! Please stop her! Hilbert! Do something! Would a hero let a defenseless man die!?
Stand back, General.
I-I'm so glad you're here! The enemy infiltrated our camp! They're here to kill me! Did you come to help us? We're saved now that you're here!
Get up, General. I'm here to deliver a message. Call your men, and tell them to abandon this position. We will fall back to the Kaiser Pass. You, General, have orders to return to Herzog immediately.
What? We're retreating? Why? What's wrong?
Oh right, the Republic and the Empire are at war. Show of hands, how many of you remembered that?
They're trying to take advantage of the chaos by capturing the capital. We must prevent this at all costs.
T-The Republic's attacking? And I need to stop them?
You're the Chief General. Protecting the capital is your primary concern. This camp is not that important. Now go, there's no need to risk your men's lives here any longer. I will hold up the enemy for as long as possible.
Y-Yes, I got it! I'll go straight away!
Argh fuck youuuuuu
What's the meaning of this? Is the Republic secretly supporting Prince Wilhelm behind the scenes?
No! It's nothing like that! We're no longer working for the Republic. We came here out of our own free will.
Things have changed, Felgorn. We've discovered many things. We chose to follow the Prince because we believe in him, unlike the Republic or the Empress you now serve.
The one I serve is the only rightful heir to the throne. Prince Wilhelm has turned a traitor to the Empire.
Felgorn... When I heard you were on that woman's side... I couldn't believe it at first. I thought it was impossible that you of all people would willingly follow those usurpers. But I understand now. You never changed. You just don't see that you're being used. The Empress only wants power. She wanted it badly enough that she had her own father killed to obtain it. Don't you see? They're all lying to you, because they know you wouldn't stay if you knew the truth.
The last time we met, I tried to convince you that the Emperor was not at fault for the Farin Base incident. I told you, "We are enemies. You have no reason to believe me." It's no different this time. It doesn't matter if this is another Republic plot or you've really changed sides. You are my enemies either way. As a servant of the imperial crown, I'm here to stop anyone who tries to pass through.
You're as stubborn as ever, Felgorn. But this time, we can't turn back. Not even if it's you.
Yes, I know neither of us will step back. If that's the case, there's only one way to resolve this.
And as he says, we're given the chance to prepare ourselves. We can save here, though as you might expect, this is a save point of no return.
Also, since it's a save point, we can pull out a tent and have the hilarious mental image of our party taking a nap while Felgorn just sort of stands there and waits for them to wake up. Once we're ready...
BOSS FIGHT: Felgorn
It's time for one hell of a fight. As is to be expected, Felgorn is arguably the toughest boss of the first act of the game.
Felgorn's stats are roughly the same as the first time we fought him, aside from having actual rewards for winning this time around. But while we've gained several levels since then, all that means is that he can't one-shot us anymore. He still can easily kick our ass.
Like Earp, all of Felgorn's attacks and techniques are physical, so having a P-Shield card or three is highly recommended for this fight. But whereas P-Shields virtually trivialized the fight with Earp, here they're almost a requirement. Felgorn hits hard and never really lets up, so any protection you can put up is extremely useful.
After all that talk about how dangerous he is, I suppose I should show you what Felgorn is actually capable of. Felgorn is fast enough to move before everyone in our party, and he opens the battle with Rapid Strike, a three-hit combo for 80-90 damage per hit. Rapid Strike can hit a single character more than once, which means if you're unlucky you might see a character KO'd from full health before you even get a chance to move.
He's also quite fond of using Blade Storm, hitting the entire party for 150 damage, so keeping your party at or near full health is highly recommended lest he instantly KO half of your characters.
Lastly, Felgorn has access to Armor Break, which is the closest he comes to giving you a chance to breathe. Armor Break inflicts a fair chunk of damage, and I feel like it should inflict some status or lower the target's VIT or something, but it didn't have any additional effects that I could see.
So, how do you deal with him, aside from P-Shielding everyone all the time? Well, for starters, you're going to want to bring out the big guns. The longer this fight goes on, the more energy you'll have to put into keeping yourself alive and picking your party up off the ground. So anything that deals a large chunk of damage and ends the fight more quickly is extremely useful.
That goes for attack items as well. By now you've likely picked up several second-tier attack items, and this is the perfect place to use them.
And don't hesitate to use your stronger healing items like Green Herbs, Gold Dusts, Healing and Sacred Orbs, and Soul Elixirs if you're in a tight spot. The stronger Dusts and Orbs especially can fix things up in a jiffy, and it'll be awhile before they're as necessary as they are here again, so don't feel too bad about blowing them. Items in this game are meant to be used.
Just keep those P-Shields up, revive KO'd allies as quickly as you can (because your characters will get KO'd), and keep up the attack with powerful spells and attack items, and eventually, you'll prevail.
Aside from the new Sirius Lux Hex tile, defeating Felgorn nets us Matilda's dream spellcard:
Swing (10MP): Launches a physical attack that hits all enemies for slightly reduced damage.
Crisis: Slash (16MP): Launches a physical attack that hits all enemies for full damage.
Stat changes: +1% max HP, +3% SKL
You've all become so strong... Especially you, Hilbert. I can't believe it... I've...
So, are you willing to listen to us now?
My defeat won't change anything. You've won this battle, but it's not over yet.
How can you be so damn dense? We're not telling you rumors here! We were right in the middle of it! Who do you think helped us get into Herzog last time? Who do you think helped set up the assassination plot? That's right! Tazar! The same person who's now your Chief General! And who do you think he was working for? The new Empress herself! We even met her in person! Do I have to spell it out for you? Helga wanted her father dead!
I'll admit I wondered how you managed to get into the castle. It had to have been someone on the inside.
You still think we're lying? What's wrong with you, Felgorn? We used to be close friends. Doesn't that mean anything to you?
Yes, we were friends. Maybe we could've still been friends. But it was you who ran away, Thorve.
Why does that even matter now!? I just don't get it. Is it really so hard to believe what we're telling you? Maybe Thorve left the Empire long ago, but he's only trying to help you now!
But I've never been a liar, Felgorn. You know that very well. You know what I've told you here is the truth.
I simply can't believe it, Thorve.
I don't believe my ears! Do you even realize what you're saying?
Randolph... Even you are here with them... But this... it has nothing to do with you.
Nothing to do with me? Did you forget that I've known you since you were a boy? What you're doing now is walking straight to your death. I can't bear to look at it. You can still turn back. Remember that.
Back then, only you and Thorve made it back alive. I don't want to see you throw your life away over nothing now.
Forget it, Randolph. I've already passed the point of no return. I can only go forward now. Will you...? No, I guess I don't even have to ask. I know you'll let me go.
It's only fair. Last time, it was you who let us go.
Go back and see what's going on around you with your own eyes. I know you'll come to your senses.
Thorve... I'm sorry to disappoint you. You said you were a coward? It's funny. In reality, it's me who's the coward. You ran away, but I... I stayed here and pretended I'd done nothing wrong. I'm much, much worse. I wanted to become a hero so I could change things, but nothing has changed. Nothing at all.
We've all made mistakes, Felgorn. That's no reason you can't--
You don't understand. There's no way back for me anymore.
What!? You can't be serious.
Do you see now? There's no way back for me. Farewell, Thorve.
Next time: Enough pussyfooting around. It's time to get the full story out of Thorve.