Part 35: Entering Entalar
Welcome back. Last time on Last Scenario, we infiltrated the final Entalar seal and destroyed it, and also defeated Flynn, the Omega Team's Number One, as she tried to stop us from escaping. When we went to the island where Entalar was hidden, however, the only thing we found was Zawu, who also fought us. We were able to defeat her, but before we could do anything, the shield's destruction caused an earthquake and the ground collapsed. Where does that leave our party? It's time to find out.
Oh, that's right... the earthquake. Did this whole place cave in? ... !! Where is everyone else!? I've got to look for them!
Just as he said, Hilbert is now alone in the party. There's only one way to go, so let's get moving.
Unfortunately, the first person we find is probably the last one we wanted to see.
Don't get any closer, or I'll...
That's enough, Hilbert. We don't have time for this.
Huh? What's going on? First you want to fight me, and now I have to follow you?
I already told you. I fought you because I couldn't make up my mind myself. You won. That means you've truly grown beyond what I thought was possible.
So what? Now that you know you can't beat me, you're asking me for help?
You've got to be kidding... Wait! Where is everyone else!? What did you do to them!?
We're in a natural cavern system, an extensive one at that. They could be anywhere. Come with me, Hilbert. There is someone I want to meet. He's the only one who can give us the answers we're looking for.
He is being held in a prison below the city, on Ortas's orders. I know how we can get inside.
Hold on! I can't just leave everyone behind!
If we find them on our way they can come along, but we have to move quickly. The Grandmaster doesn't know yet that I've betrayed him. That allows us to move freely for now. If we waste our time searching for your friends, we'll lose this opportunity. They can take care of themselves.
Zawu starts walking away...
... and... Hilbert just follows her without another word. All right then.
Fade to black...
And as we fade back in, we're immediately given control. Wait, does that mean...?
Yep, it does: Zawu is our seventh and final party member. While she doesn't have the power she had in our fight with her (and if you missed it, the game handwaved that away last update by explaining that she was drawing the last bit of power from the shield), Zawu is still quite formidable. She's the fastest character in the game, and like Hilbert and Ethan, she's a jack of all trades, strong with both physical attacks and magic. In fact, she's better than Hilbert and Ethan in most areas... but not in the two stats you probably weren't looking at: HP and MP. Zawu's main weakness is her frailty, as she has only a slightly better HP pool than Lorenza, and despite being a decent caster her MP pool is quite poor. Really, the main problem with her is that she'd be a fantastic replacement for Hilbert, but Hilbert can't be removed from the active party.
Zawu's weapons of choice are swords (and by the way, I love how the sword-wielder is the last character we get in this game), and she comes with a few free spellcards and a Star Bracelet, which grants +10 STR, +10 DEX, and an immunity to instant death. Like all other party members, she begins with only two spellcard slots, but we've got several Key Tablet Is kicking around and she dropped a Key Tablet II when we defeated her, so she gets brought up to speed immediately.
Here's Hilbert's current stats for reference. Hilbert has the advantage in HP, MP, VIT, and LCK, but Zawu has him beat in everything else.
Also, Zawu is really goddamned tall, as we find out when we run into two Maneaters a few steps from our starting point. Maneaters only have a physical attack for around 100 damage, but they each take two rounds worth of attacks from our current party to take down, so they can chew through our HP frighteningly quickly. Fortunately both Hilbert and Zawu have Heal.
Anyway, it's about time we started exploring this dungeon proper. As Zawu said, this is a natural cave system, so there are a whole bunch of branching pathways and dead ends, like this one just to the northeast of where we started. I'll try to keep things as straight as I can.
The path onward from our starting area is to the north, where we find this room. It's hard to tell, but there are actually several different elevations in this shot, and we're walking into a dead end. We need to head around the room to find a way to climb up.
As we're doing that we run into some more new enemies, both recolors: a Cave Mushroom and a Dark Slime. Cave Mushrooms can whack us for 70 damage, use Poisonous Cloud to inflict 50 damage and poison on the entire party, or use an odd technique called One Hundred Spores that always does exactly 100 damage to one party member. Dark Slimes have the same supreme VIT that their little brother Ectoplasms did, and can slap us around for 70 damage, cast Landslide to hit everyone with 120 damage, or use Purple Haze to inflict 85 damage, enfeeble, and blind on everyone. Fortunately, they're weak to several elements and it's not too hard to one-shot them with the right spell.
As an aside, it's actually not a bad idea to run from some battles in this dungeon. While the enemies here aren't that threatening individually, they're a serious drain on our resources, and frankly this doesn't seem like the time to start burning our stronger Serpent items.
Heading through the opening on the upper level brings us to a room with several more openings across the north wall. Including the opening we just came from, there are four ways out of this room, and the one we just came through was the second from the left. The far west and far east openings lead to the same place eventually, though.
Checking out the nearby opening is very worthwhile, as one of the chests nearly completely obsoletes the Steal card:
Raid (15MP): Simultaneously launches a physical attack and attempts to steal an item from an enemy.
Crisis: Loot (33MP): Attempts to steal gold from an enemy.
Stat changes: +1% max MP, +4% SPD
Steal isn't entirely useless now that we have this, since Raid costs 15 times as much MP to cast, but it's fairly likely that I won't be equipping Steal again.
Heading through the far-right opening in the room with four exits takes us along a winding path that eventually ends in treasure.
Nothing huge in either of these, but every little bit helps.
As we're leaving we run into this area's final enemy type, the Vengeful Phantom. Vengeful Phantoms only ever show up alone, have high HP, and spend their turns whacking us around for about 100 damage. Unsurprisingly, they're weak to light, so if you still have that Light Ray card kicking around, now's a great time to use it.
Afterwards, we return to the area behind the far-right opening and head northeast, but as we do, a scene begins.
Don't think I trust you this easily after all you've put me through.
It's fine if you feel that way. I'm not asking for your trust. I don't think I'm deserving of it. We just have a common goal for now. I am not doing this for you, or because I feel I owe you.
You keep mentioning Castor. Why do you care about him so much?
I know he's the leader of the Kingdom army, and that Ethan was once a special agent serving him.
That's all he told you?
He said he didn't remember anything from before that time...
I see... Did he really forget everything...?
What happened between them, Zawu? You've got to tell me!
No. It's better this way. There's no need to bring it up again. I wish I didn't remember it myself. It would've made this choice much easier.
Figures, even after she joins our party Zawu can't help but be far more mysterious than necessary.
You're still not making much sense. If you're really on my side now, why don't you tell me the truth for once?
I'm only acting in Ethan's best interests. You have to believe me when I say I care a lot about him. As for Castor... he is heading down the path to self-destruction, and it's all my fault. I am the one who brought the Havali and the Kingdom together. It was me who made him a general. He could've been like you, Hilbert. But I gave him the opportunity to go too far. It's only natural that he would turn away from Ethan and me. He doesn't want to have to rely on anyone. He would've never made it if it weren't for the two of us. That's precisely why he wanted to surpass us.
... Let's move on.
Oh, you're awake?
Where are we?
Underground. It seems the earthquake caused a partial collapse of these tunnels. And it just so happened that we were standing right on top of them.
Can't we get out?
Not the same way we came in, unfortunately. It's quite a distance we fell. We're lucky to be unharmed. I certainly hope everyone else is fine too. Well, it seems all we can do is follow the tunnels and see where they lead.
Yes. Let's make that our top priority. But... it's not like we're given much of a choice where to go. Well, let's see where we end up, shall we?
And we now control Ethan and Randolph. Luckily for me, I've still got those Barbed Darts we picked up in the Stygian Woods, so Randolph actually gets to have a decent weapon.
Randolph and Ethan will be running into the same sets of enemies that Hilbert and Zawu encountered. There's not much need for me to cover them again.
There's a save point near our starting point, as well as a small looping pathway that leads to a chest with the Killer Spear. The Killer Spear is a weapon for Matilda that's stronger than any lance we've seen thus far, but inflicts a -15 SPD penalty when wielded. As it turns out, our inventory is some weird communal quantum pocket dimension that any of our characters can access from anywhere, so if and when we control Matilda, she'll be able to pull it out and equip it without a problem.
We head through the opening west of the save point and continue on, but Ethan suddenly stops as the screen starts shaking again.
No, it felt more like a weak aftershock.
Are we in any danger?
Hmm, probably not. If the ceiling was weakened by the first quake, the aftershock could cause it to collapse. But this tunnel looks quite sturdy. We're probably further from the epicenter now.
So we're safe... But the same may not go for the others.
We now cut to Matilda. There's still no music, but we can hear the faint sound of wind blowing. That may seem strange, but it'll make sense in a second.
Thorve! Anyone? Damn it... where is everyone? Great. Looks like I'm stuck here by myself. What am I going to do now?
If I climbed outside here... I could escape. What should I do? Keep looking for everyone else? Maybe they've already moved on. Maybe they're... I could try to find that city... but then what? Haha... it's almost sad. I don't even know what I'm looking for.
Everyone's got their own reasons for coming to this place. Then, what's mine? What am I doing here? In the Empire, and back in the Republic, at least I had knowledge of military matters and warfare. What am I now? Just a weapon? Do they really need my help anymore? Valentin... maybe I should come back home, and forget about all this...
Agh... D-Damn it, I'm... I'm stuck. It's too heavy... I can't...
Somebody... Somebody help me.
Figures. The one time I need it... I guess... this is...
Music: (RECOMMENDED LISTENING)
Are you okay?
Do I... Do I look okay?
You're okay enough to talk back, it seems. But... I'd better hurry. Can you even breathe under all that pressure?
A... A little. Don't be a fool. It's too heavy for you. Go and get help.
Matilda, for your own good, I would advise you to be quiet and save your strength. If you were in my shoes, you'd do the exact same thing.
Hmph, suit yourself. I'm not going anywhere.
Wolfram, Felgorn, Selene, Jord... I couldn't save any of them. What they were up against was simply beyond my capabilities.
Matilda, you're the reason I'm still alive today. You gave my life purpose again. When the whole team was together, it was the first time since the war that I felt like I had a family.
Fade to black...
We don't have time to rest.
At least try to be careful. You're not invincible, as close to it as you seem to be.
Sorry. I'm not used to being in a position like this. ... Thank you, Thorve.
Shall we continue?
I can't turn back now, huh?
What do you mean?
I was having some stupid thoughts while I was alone, that's all. I feel better now. When I think about it, I've always been doing things without having a good reason.
The camera pans over the city as we get our first taste of the Entalar theme. This is another town theme that I'm a really big fan of.
It's fine. Humans do visit this place, even if they're all from the Kingdom. This city is no different from anywhere else. The common folk know little about what's really going on. They may distrust humans, but they will just assume that we're some of their allies.
That's good... at least the others will be fine too if they make it here.
From what I've heard about Luminas, their old capital, it was a magnificent city, with no equal. This... doesn't even begin to compare. It's only a shadow of what the Havali once were.
They don't have the manpower to rebuild the city?
No, it's not just that. Everyone here believes that this is only a temporary home, until the day they return to their homeland. They all believe that the glory they lost will one day be restored to what it used to be. In a way, it's sad.
Their homeland... the Empire, right?
Yes. So now you see why the Grandmaster used Augustus to try to seize control of the Empire. Using that man was just one of our many plans, but in the end he even managed to crown himself Emperor. If it weren't for you, this conflict would've already been decided in our favor.
But remember this. You've been more of a hindrance to their plans than you may think.
Zawu... There's one more thing I've been meaning to ask. What -is- the reason I was chosen? Why did you try to make me into a hero?
You'll find out soon enough. This isn't the time or place to explain.
What? First you refuse to tell us anything of importance, and now you're not even going to let us explore the city we've been trying to find for the past four updates? Come the fuck on.
Back to Ethan and Randolph. There's no scene as we fade back in, we just have immediate control.
There's also not much more to their segment of the caverns. About the only thing of interest is a few chests a few rooms in.
Once again, nothing major, but these are still some very helpful items.
After a bit more exploring, we come to this room, where another scene begins.
We must be close now. Hopefully everyone else is already there, seeing as we couldn't find them down here. Are you coming?
I've wanted to say this for some time but... I'm no good at apologizing. On behalf of the Kingdom, I'm sorry for what we've put you all through. If it weren't for us, the Havali would've never been this much of a threat. We even had our hand in the civil war that divided the Empire. I have no excuse myself, but most of our people have nothing to do with it. They were just being used.
There's no point in hating the people of a country for what their leaders are doing in secret. If I wanted to hate the Kingdom, I would have reason enough for it already. After all, they took my only son from me, during that war.
I'm sorry. I heard that you lost your son, but I didn't know he died in a war against the Kingdom.
Oh, you weren't there when Thorve told the whole story, so you couldn't have known. Well, there's not much to it. It happened fourteen years ago. Thorve, Felgorn and my son Wolfram were good friends, and they all joined the army together. Looking back on it, I can't believe I didn't try to stop them. I guess we were all responsible in some way. I spent all my time on my research, and one day I wake up and my son's gone and my wife's left me. But it's too late to worry about that now, isn't it?
It's easy to talk in hindsight. No one expects their family members to die.
Well, I can talk lightly about it now, but of course it was a different story back then. I'm not sure if you heard about it over there, but there was this town in the Kingdom. The Empire troops burned it to the ground, not long before Wolfram and the others arrived there.
Burned... to the ground...?
Yes. It seems almost all the inhabitants were killed. It's really quite terrible. However, there -were- survivors. Those three were just looking around to see if anyone was still alive, when--
I don't want to hear any more of this. I... I just felt like... I was about to remember something, but... I suddenly became overwhelmed with fear. I don't remember having ever felt like that.
Never mind. It doesn't matter anymore. It must be something from a distant past. I don't think I want to remember it. Certainly not while we're stuck down here.
You scared me there. Are you sure you're okay now?
I'm fine. Let's move on.
Hmm... I can't say I'm not worried about you, but you're right. This isn't the place.
Oh right, there was still one character we hadn't seen yet. What's Lorenza up to?
I fled from here before this city was built... and yet I feel a little nostalgic. It doesn't look like anyone else is here yet... Where could they be? I... I can't stand here and wait for them. I have to do something.
Did you feel that earthquake too just now? Is something wrong down there?
Oh... No, nothing's wrong.
Hmm. Okay. Be careful in there, especially if you're on your own. You never know what you'll run into.
Y-Yes... thank you.
Where can I go? Grandfather is probably being closely watched by Ortas...
Hmm... I wonder where she lives. I hope it's somewhere around here.
And we have control. Zawu wouldn't let us explore the city, so I guess we're going to have to do it with Lorenza instead. Despite its plot importance, Entalar isn't too different from any other city we've seen. It's got the standard shops and houses, and is shaped like a V (we're at its northwest point).
But before we take a look around, we can head northwest and try to get into the place where Hilbert and Zawu went. It turns out it's guarded, which makes me wonder how the two of them managed to move on. Oh well, guess we'll see when we control them again.
Well, it was right next to us when we were given control, so let's take a look at the spellcard shop. Their selection is fairly similar to the shop in Lawshire, but they've dropped Laser in exchange for putting both Regen and Enlight on sale. If you didn't steal the Enlight card from Zeitgeist, you should definitely grab one here. Hell, even if you did steal it, a second copy might be worthwhile.
Also, it turns out that Slap spellcard we found is really fucking valuable. Who knew?
There are several Havali NPCs scattered around the city, and as you might expect, they're almost all focused on how much humans suck and how much they want revenge.
Wait, hang on. What's one of these doing here?
Huh. Well, okay then. Just like above-ground cities, there's a perfectly functional Hex trading post here, and a small number of the area's NPCs also play. But in a twist that is actually rather sensible when you think about it, the tile selection among Entalar's Hex players is fairly lame, since they have almost no opportunities to win tiles from players outside the city. Some of the Hex players are stuck using the tiles we already had in our inventory when we started the game.
At the bottom of Entalar's V is an item shop, with both Green Herbs and Gold Dusts for sale if we feel like stocking up.
If we head up the right side of the V, we find the weapon shop, as well as a second save point. I'm not sure why a city needs two save points, but whatever.
The weapons available in Entalar's shop are all top-notch and stronger than anything we've seen thus far. I take advantage of our quantum pocket dimension inventory and pick up an Elvish Bow and Crusader Sword, since Hilbert and Zawu are going to be doing the majority of the combat in this upcoming section.
Near the weapon shop is a rather out-of-place door that's locked for some reason.
And finally, at the far eastern end of the city we find Entalar's castle, but there's no way in.
Anyway, let's go see Lorenza's aunt. She lives in a house about half of the way up Entalar's eastern side. Oh, and before you do this, you might want to remove all of Lorenza's equipment and spellcards. No reason why.
Wait... No... that can't be...
Yes, it's me! Lorenza!
Lorenza... it's really you? But you've grown so big! The last time I saw you, you barely came up to my knees! This is such a surprise! When did you come back?
I'm so glad you're doing well. Poor thing, you must've been through so much.
What!? Who told you that?
Huh? What do you mean?
He wasn't murdered, he just died of illness! The humans I lived with always protected me!
But Lorenza, that can't be right. Meodar is a hero of our people. He took charge during the great war and saved us from destruction. Without him, we would've certainly been wiped out. Why would he suddenly betray us?
You don't understand. My father never betrayed our people. He left because he didn't think he could stop Ortas from seizing power. He... he just wanted me to grow up normally, and not get caught up in another war. He knew that by preventing the Awakening, he could stop Ortas from carrying out his plans. I think... he just didn't feel the time was right yet for us to face the world again. If he hadn't died, I'm sure he would've wanted to come back with me some day...
My dear... The Grandmaster is only looking out for our best interests. Why do you oppose him so strongly? Come to think of it, you've never even met him. You don't know what he's like.
Time hasn't stood still, Aunt Lesalia, even if it did for us. The world has changed! All the people getting caught up in this have nothing to do with what happened to us!
My father wanted us to learn how to coexist with the human world. There's no need to fight. Please... contact my grandfather. I really need to talk to him. You're the only one I can turn to.
Fade to black...
After a brief fade to black, however, we're abruptly given control back in the upper floor of Lesalia's house. Erm, are we supposed to be doing something?
We can try talking to Lesalia, but she just tells us to stay put. And if we try to leave...
It's dangerous to go outside. Please stay in here.
But Aunt Lesalia, I need to do something. If I just stay here...
Don't worry. I've already contacted help. Just use the room upstairs to rest for a while. You must be tired.
As we head back upstairs, we hear the sound of a door opening on the ground floor.
Is she still here?
Is she really the elder's granddaughter?
She has to be. Lady Lesalia wouldn't make a mistake on the matter. On behalf of the Grandmaster, thank you for your assistance.
Fade to black...
Oh, there she is.
I'm overjoyed about your return, Lorenza. Now we can finally awaken everyone. Your return will bring great joy to all of our people.
You're wrong! You're just being deceived by Ortas! Why did you do this!? I... I trusted you!
Lorenza, you're still young. When you're a little older, you'll understand. You are next in line to be elder. You have a responsibility to carry out. You mustn't run away from it.
No... No... This can't be happening.
You don't understand what you've done!
Stop acting like a child, Lorenza. Think about how your mother would feel if she saw you now. You can hate me if you want, but the needs of our people are more important than your own.
You're wasting your time putting your trust in him.
Next time: We finally find out what Phantom's deal is.