Part 36: Insane Crackpot Theory
Welcome back. Last time on Last Scenario, our party was separated in the caverns near Entalar, and we spent some time switching perspectives as each of our characters attempted to make their way to the city. Hilbert ran into Zawu, who decided to join us, expressing a desire to find Phantom. Randolph started telling Ethan the story of what happened to his son, only for Ethan to suddenly and inexplicably react with terror and demand him to stop. Matilda was nearly crushed by a collapsing cavern, but Thorve was able to extract her from the rubble. And Lorenza reached Entalar and sought asylum in the house of her aunt Lesalia, but Lesalia sold her out, and she was captured. There's still plenty more to this segment, so let's get to it.
We begin this update controlling Matilda and Thorve, who seem to have made it to Entalar just after the events of the previous update.
Could be... it came from the far side of the city.
Let's go check it out.
Guess it's time to get moving then. Entalar is still the same for Matilda as it was for Lorenza, though in a neat touch, a number of the NPCs now have different dialogue, most of it very distrustful of us. The shops still work, but most of the shopkeepers will display reluctance before showing us their selection.
Anyway, the obvious move is to head to Lesalia's house, but it's completely empty. Guess we'll have to look elsewhere.
The next obvious location would be the castle, since that's probably where Lorenza would have been taken. Once we approach it, a scene will start.
And we'd probably find that grandmaster in there too. What do you think? Should we go raise hell in there?
With just the two of us? Don't forget, Matilda. If we fail, it's over. We don't want to alert them of our presence.
You're no fun, Thorve. Well, there's no point in walking around aimlessly.
Fade to black...
Uhhh, okay I guess? I mean, that passage supposedly leads to the prison and I guess it's not a bad place to look for a captive, but if Lorenza was being taken there, Matilda and Thorve probably would have seen her. Whatever.
As we head back through the city, however, it looks like a lot of guards have started gathering in our way. Another scene begins as we approach them.
Uh-oh, bad news.
Don't think we didn't see you snooping around everywhere. Are you trying to spy on us? You humans keep getting more and more impudent.
I don't know what you're talking about.
We're not trying to cause any trouble. We're just looking for someone we lost around here.
No, I'm pretty sure we got that pretty quickly.
I don't care who invited you here. We don't trust you and we don't want you around. You're forgetting that you're -our- guests, in -our- city. We make the rules here.
What!? You think you're some kind of tough guy?
Calm down, Matilda!
There's even more of them?
And it's battle time. We're up against four Havali Guards here. They're fairly fast (well, more like most of our party is just slow as hell), but their only attack is a regular one for about 75 damage. It takes a few turns to take all of them down, but we're never in any danger.
Hey, let's stop it. We're--
Stop now? No way.
Oh for fuck's sake.
What the hell are you talking about?
That's right. They attacked us first. They broke the law. This is our city. We have the right to defend ourselves.
I'll call for help.
Matilda! We can't afford to attract any more attention! Let's make a run for it!
I don't like it, but you're right. Let's get out of here before more of them show up.
Fade to black...
Well, shit. Didn't we just corner ourselves by going this way? Oh, and just as an aside, you may also want to remove Ethan's spellcards and equipment here, just like with Lorenza.
Our only possible move is to head back to the castle, where another scene starts.
Where did you think you were going?
We're cornered. If we're going to fight, we'd better do it now.
You got it.
And it's another fight against four Havali Guards, which is even easier than the first, because we were able to use a Tent at the save point on the right side of the city to heal up beforehand.
Unfortunately, following the battle, it doesn't look like we'll be going anywhere.
Guards! Arrest these people! They attacked us and disturbed the order in Entalar!
Even if you are here on the Grandmaster's orders, we can't tolerate anyone breaking the laws. We'll take you into custody and report this to your superiors.
Thorve! We can't let ourselves be captured, no matter what.
I won't argue with you this time. Our situation can't get much worse than this.
Get ready to fight!
These people are our guests. Why are you pointing your weapons at them?
But, Elder! They started making trouble in town! We had no choice! They need to be punished!
That's a damn lie! They're the ones who started to harass us!
We will determine who started this fight at a later time. I am taking them with me now. You may leave.
B-But Elder, the laws...
N... No, Elder.
Then go back to your posts.
Yes, I am... And you people, you are not from the Kingdom, are you? If I'm not mistaken, it was my granddaughter who led you all here.
Thank you very much for this. We were all separated, so it's been difficult to take action. Unfortunately, we lost contact with Lorenza as well.
Lorenza... I'm afraid she has already been caught.
What!? She got caught? Does that mean the Awakening is going to happen before we can do anything?
There will be a large ceremony, with all our people present. It will take time to organize it. Even if he starts right away, we'll still have an opportunity to take action.
But if you're the elder, can't you do something about this yourself!?
I am indeed the elder of the Havali, but as you undoubtedly know, my power is very limited. The situation we're in is all my fault. I am trying to make amends, but... No, instead I'm just asking others to do my work again. This is not about my redemption. It's about my granddaughter.
It's about time. Your inability to do something as simple as protecting the seals has caused me a headache. With the shield down, we're sitting ducks here. Our defenses are inadequate in case of an invasion. Since this is -your- responsibility, I trust that -you- will take care of this mess for us.
Oh... I came to deliver the news, but it looks like you already know.
That some pests crawled into the city? As it so happens I just found out about it. You'll understand that this is a major pain to me. They may be nothing but ignorant worms, but even a few grains of sand can destroy the finest clockwork.
I'll accept your punishment for my failure.
Hmph. I will be lenient with you since this situation led to the capture of a very valuable treasure. I've had word that the elder's granddaughter will be brought in here any moment. I have a lot of work to do because of this, and since she was by herself, there may be more of them around. I ordered my soldiers to look out for any humans, but they won't let themselves be caught so easily.
You can trust me to take care of this matter.
I was hoping you would know. She hasn't come back since she went to investigate the damage. If she did not survive the invasion, you will have to carry out her duties for the time being.
Yes, my Lord.
Oh, and stay on your guard. We may get a visit from another unwanted guest. Another problem that Barasur left behind for us. If you do encounter her, good luck.
I'm not surprised. I'm sure she had a strong desire to come here.
In any case, will this affect our strategy? We may have to change our plans.
Not at all. It can always go one way or the other. Our approach is the same as it was with the seals. Instead of wasting more resources on protecting them, we took advantage of the situation. And this, too, may turn out in our favor.
It's too early to pat ourselves on the back. We don't have the advantage yet. The girl's presence changes everything.
I understand that very well, but it just means we'll have to speed up our plans. For now, we will do as Ortas said. All of you, go search for the invaders and capture them. Start with the city and spread out through the caverns from there.
What about you, sir?
The hardest part has yet to come. Phantom is being held at the bottom level, far lower than I'm allowed access.
So we can't just walk in there after all?
No one said we could. But now that we're already here, it's only a matter of taking out anyone who notices us.
That's very reassuring.
Have you lost your confidence now?
Whatever. Let's just move on.
And we have control. The Entalar Prison is, unsurprisingly, a dungeon, though it's a pretty short one. Hilbert and Zawu pull the Elvish Bow and Crusader Sword out of the spacetime anomaly that is our inventory and we get moving.
The majority of the prison is made up of circular rooms with several cells around the edges.
Most of them are locked, but...
... a few of them are open, and most of the ones that are contain treasure. The Ceramic Coat is a fairly decent armor that grants lightning resistance to its wearer.
And as we're leaving the cell we run into an enemy that it'd probably be useful against. This fellow is the Tiahuanacu, and he'll occasionally show up with an identical buddy. Tiahuanacus have a couple of powerful lightning attacks: Static Field, which hits the entire party for about 200 damage, and Zap, which inflicts 255 damage and enfeeble on a single character. They also can attack regularly for about 95 damage, or use Crush to hit a single character with about 130 damage and... silence? Not what I'd expect from a technique with that name, but okay. These guys can actually be mildly threatening with our limited party, but they're still not too bad.
We continue on to the next floor, which is roughly identical to the first. As we enter we also find another new monster, the Warning Sign. Warning Signs are a bit odd and I have a sneaking suspicion that they may be bugged somehow. They mainly attack with Freezing Beam, which inflicts 275 ice damage and slow, and they also have a technique called Emergency Boost that appears to be some kind of buff, though I'm not certain on what. But what makes me think they're bugged is that there are often several rounds where the Warning Sign simply won't do anything at all. They actually have a fuckton of HP for a regular enemy and always show up alone, so it's quite noticeable. At least it makes them easier to defeat.
Interestingly, Warning Signs also give virtually no experience but a veritable hoard of gold. That's nice I guess.
There are a couple more open cells on the second floor. One of them contains a rather interesting spellcard:
Throw (0MP): Sacrifices a weapon from the inventory to deal moderate damage to one enemy.
Crisis: Launch (44MP): Sacrifices the caster to deal major damage to one enemy.
Stat changes: -2% VIT, +3% SKL, +3% LCK
In all honesty I've never really bothered with Throw, since weapons in this game are fairly rare if you don't want to blow a bunch of cash at a shop, and it doesn't really do enough damage to be worth it. Likewise, the mental image of Launch is hilarious (though sadly the game has no real animation for it), but the ~850 damage it deals at our current level isn't enough to justify killing the caster, especially considering the only sort of situation where you'd want that much damage is against a boss.
That's about all there is to see on the second floor. As we're making our way to the stairs we hit this area's last new enemy, the Patrol Engine. Patrol Engines have two fire-aligned moves: Fire Shell, which does about 155 damage to one party member, and Massive Attack, a decidedly non-massive attack that hits the entire party for just 50 damage. Like the Defensive Drone before them, Patrol Engines have a number of elemental immunities, but they're easy enough to take down just with regular attacks.
The third floor is the lowest of the set of circular rooms. Instead of another staircase down to the north, there's just an office of some sort.
The cell treasure for this floor is some powerful attack items. The Frost Shard and Magma Stone are the ultimate ice and fire attack items, respectively, casting not Iceblast and Fireball but their third-tier counterparts, Iceray and Inferno. Like the Meteor Shell, these babies can easily reach four-digit damage, making them highly valuable for difficult boss fights.
The south exit on the third floor leads not to another cell, but to a path that allows us to continue on.
Also, for some reason, when we enter the next room the fade-in is much slower than normal. I'm not really sure why this is--this room isn't particularly important. Probably just a typo in the effect's intended duration.
Anyway, this room is a crossroads of sorts, though the eastern path just leads to what appears to be a drain.
If we head south, we find a switch...
... which opens the door to the north. At this point I slap the Flame Amulet on Zawu and the Primal Ward on Hilbert for some major fire resistance. I'm sure we won't need this that much.
The prison's guardian?
BOSS FIGHT: Fire Dragon
Oh well would you look at that, an incredibly fire-focused boss just happened to show up. That sure is lucky!
Though I have to admit the stat page kind of threw me for a loop. Something that huge has that little STR? Not exactly what I would have expected. It's also important to note that the Fire Dragon is actually resistant to ice, another trait that I didn't see coming. If you want to hit its weak point you'll need to bring a Waterfall card.
Anyway, to absolutely no one's surprise, the Fire Dragon is all about the flames. It opens the battle with what else but Fire Breath, which probably would have been rather threatening had I not come into this fight with the accessories I did. Incidentally, if you didn't find or sold the Flame Amulet for some reason, you can still make this fight much easier by going to Entalar's Hex post and trading in two Undines for two Undine's Charms, which grant fire resistance. It's not fire absorption, but it's something.
The Fire Dragon also often uses Flames of Fury on a single party member, which Zawu takes with a smile. This attack is slightly more of a threat since it also inflicts chaos, but Zawu is immune due to her White Gown, and if Hilbert gets hit, Zawu has a Treatment card, whose crisis will remove it.
The Fire Dragon does have a few attacks that aren't fire-aligned, but they're not the boss's strong point. Its regular attack is less powerful than the attacks of the regular enemies in this area.
The only other move the Dragon has access to is Dragon Claw, which moves so quickly I couldn't get a good shot of it. Its damage is rather worrying for Zawu, or at least it would be if half of the boss's techniques didn't heal her right back to full.
The Fire Dragon carries the Flaming Sphere, a gem for Thorve that deals fire damage instead of physical. Its steal rate is irritatingly low without the Thief Glove equipped, and I actually had to do this fight three times in order to grab it.
But it honestly wasn't too big of a deal, since with the accessories we have, this fight is a complete joke. The Fire Dragon's reliance on Fire Breath and Flames of Fury means that anyone with the Flame Amulet equipped is essentially unkillable, and if you still can't win with an advantage like that, I don't know what to tell you.
Winning the battle nets us the Dragon Armor, a strong heavy armor that also grants +15 STR to its wearer. Not too shabby.
Ortas must be really afraid of him escaping.
That old man couldn't possibly escape on his own... That means all this defense was only to keep us out. It's not Phantom's strength that Ortas is afraid of. It's the things that he knows.
But either way, if he's that dangerous, why was he left alive?
Ortas is just saving him for the best possible opportunity to suit his own needs. As I told you before, we had many plans... some of which were nothing but a little insurance. His plans with Phantom may just be one of the latter. He just likes to scheme like that.
Excellent. Bring her in.
I am Grandmaster Ortas. As a representative of the Elder, I welcome you to Entalar.
Representative? Hah! Let me see my grandfather, and we'll see how he feels about you!
I see you've inherited your father's strong will... but not his composure. You will get to see Barasur once we've finished our own business.
I have no business with you. I won't help you.
Ortas doesn't strike me as much of a creep, but this one line in particular makes me wince. Wanna back up a bit there?
I'm sure she would've grown up to be just as beautiful as you are...
Why, Lorenza? Why do you protect those detestable people? They have taken -everything- from us.
The people I've met out there are no different from us! What happened is not their fault!
We... We just lost the war. That's all...
What would you know, you who were only an infant during the war? You haven't experienced -true- terror. How can you defend the same people who drove us from our homeland and branded us as demons? You don't know -anything-.
Then tell me...
If you say I don't know anything, then tell me what I should know!
So you want to know, do you?
Fade to black...
Really? You're going to end the scene there? Oh well. Although we've beaten the boss, we're not technically done with this dungeon yet. There are still a few more rooms, and random battles will still occur in them.
Oh, and since I know someone's going to ask, no, there's nothing in the alcove that the dragon was hiding in.
All that's left of the prison is a long set of stairs, and at the bottom...
... we find the person we're looking for.
And you... does the fact that you brought that boy to me mean your motives have changed? All may not yet be lost.
Don't misunderstand me. My goals are still the same. Let's not waste time. You know very well why we are here. We want answers.
And you think I can provide you with them?
Don't be coy. From the first time I saw you, I knew you were suspicious. Ortas had far too much interest in you for a mere human. The more I came to learn about the situation, the more curious I became about you. You freed Ethan from the secret facility and suffer similar afflictions as him, but... you were not one of Castor's experiments. You came from somewhere else.
Next time: It's time for a history lesson.