Part 45: Ancient Technology, Barely Used, Like New
Welcome back. Last time on Last Scenario, we caught up with Castor and the Omega Team in Serinal Woods, but Helio bought the others time to escape by mutating himself with the biorite extract from the old facility. While we were able to defeat Helio, Castor is now out of our reach, and disheartened and without a clear next objective, our party has decided to return to Stonewall. Meanwhile, Castor finally woke up in Condor, the Kingdom capital, but he was still terrified and continued experiencing flashbacks to the incident in Cromwell. Desperate for more power, Castor went to Tiamat and demanded that she tell him what she knew, and she agreed... provided Castor helped her find the "mythical ark" known as Lemuria first. What does this mean, and how is our party going to proceed from here? It's time to find out.
Following the events of the previous update, we're immediately teleported to Stonewall. Let's go see Drakovic.
No, your plan worked perfectly. It's our own fault he got away.
This wasn't something we could've anticipated. They only managed to escape because of Helio's sacrifice.
All right, all right. You can stop passing the blame around already. So it didn't work, but I think it was still a major victory. The Kingdom's territory was invaded for the first time in a decade, and one of their top officers died.
After all this, I don't think we'll have anything to fear from them for the time being. Their star general fled back with his tail between his legs. That's got to deter them from trying again.
I share your feelings, but I try not to be too optimistic.
They know how few troops we have there, but they're remaining passive.
Are you going to call them back?
Nah, I don't see why we should. Let's see what they're going to do. The Consul has sent a peace offer to King Alfred, but I don't think we'll get a response anytime soon.
Anyway... The main reason we came back is because we don't have a very good idea of how to proceed from here.
We've already lost our momentum. The best course of action is to wait and see what Castor will do.
We shouldn't wait for them to make a move first. We have to strike while they're still in disarray.
They're both good points. So, you're looking at me to make the final decision now?
Just your advice would be a great help to us.
Hmm, well... Based on this new information, there are some things I'd like to look into. Let's meet again in the morning. I'll have a better idea of the situation by then.
Thanks. We'll go rest now and come back tomorrow.
Lorenza... It would've been better if you hadn't seen me.
What are you talking about? Were you just going to disappear without a word? We're friends, aren't we? So why are you leaving all of a sudden?
I was born in a small town called Cromwell, in the middle of the Kingdom. Fourteen years ago, the Empire invaded. My hometown was completely burned to the ground. Many people died, including the rest of my family. The only ones who survived were Castor and I.
"Your grammar, I mean. It's 'Castor and me.'"
The day after, more soldiers came. We thought they were coming back to kill us. I was hiding among the rubble with my brother, carrying the sword of a dead soldier. When one of them was about to discover us, I jumped out and stabbed him. He died on the spot. Castor and I were rescued afterwards by Zawu, but that man... The man I killed, he was... He was Randolph's son.
A-Are you sure about that? It happened so long ago, and...
It would be better if I left...
It wasn't your fault! It was war! And you were just a boy! I understand you feel guilty about it, but what could you be expected to do in that situation?
Even then, I can't stay around him any longer. It's too painful. I can at least forget about it as long as I'm alone.
If it's too much for you to bear, you should talk to him about it. It's the only way you can come to terms with it.
No... there's no way I could tell him. I can't do that sort of thing. I'm going back to the Kingdom. I'll go search for Castor by myself. If I found out anything, I'll let you know about it.
I can tell Randolph for you... or I'll keep quiet about it if that's what you want. Just... don't leave us because of this. We're all friends. I don't want to lose any of you.
Promise me that you won't tell him. If he has to be told, I want to do it myself. I don't want him to find out from someone else.
I'm sure he won't be angry with you. It's been fourteen years, after all. So... Are you going to come back with me?
There's one more thing I remembered.
Even though he's the older one, I had to protect him all the time, even during the attack. But after that, when we became soldiers, Castor began to change. He kept trying to prove himself against me. And not just me. He challenged everyone around him. It's not a coincidence that he ended up being made a general instead of me. He fought really hard to become strong. It's going to repeat itself again. He's going to do the exact same thing. This time, he's going to try to prove that he's stronger than Hilbert. I don't know how he'll do it, but he'll find some way... even if it costs him his life.
You must've been a good brother to him. I think he never truly realized it. And not just you. I can tell that Zawu really cares for you both too, even if she doesn't normally show it. Let's go together, and find a way to help your brother, okay?
The next morning...
Oh? That's a deep remark coming from you, Matilda.
... But that mocking smile of yours brings me straight back to reality. Well, let's go see if Drakovic managed to come up with anything.
One quick trip back to Drakovic's office later...
Hey. Did you come up with anything?
Well, I was off on a good start, but my thought process was interrupted by a letter. It was addressed to you guys, but it wasn't sealed or anything so I took the liberty of reading it. The contents will probably mean more to you than they do to me, but it sounds worrying.
A letter? Who is it from?
It was delivered anonymously. We don't know who sent it. Here, let me read it to you.
"General Castor has allied himself with the Havali woman known as 'Tiamat.' Under her guidance, he is searching for a place called 'Lemuria' somewhere in the Kingdom. Castor is not being himself. I fear that he's letting himself be controlled by that woman. I feel that she is a danger to all of us, but we know nothing about her. For your own importance, I ask you this: What do you know about Tiamat?"
So it was Castor who took Tiamat away from Entalar? She vanished after the Awakening ceremony, but we had no idea what happened to her.
It sounds like there are people even in the Kingdom who don't like what's going on.
If he has allied with her, it can only mean one thing. He's trying to find the source of her power. This place... Lemuria. We must find it before Castor does. What do you know about it?
I've never heard of it before.
Me neither. It could be something only the Havali know about.
Agreed. We don't have much time, but there's no point in searching aimlessly. Your grandfather is the one who's most likely to be able to help us.
Yeah, let's go back to Entalar and ask him about it.
And so we head back to Entalar. Entering the cave on the world map now transports us to Entalar's harbor. The guard here will take us back to the world map if we speak to him.
A familiar face greets us as we make our way back to the city.
Good to see you again. I heard your ship had come back, so I came here to meet you. Did you return for any special reason?
Yes, we did... We want to know about Tiamat.
Tiamat... Does that mean... she's still around?
She's far away from Entalar at the moment, but we don't know what she's planning. We need to know what happened in the past in order to fight her.
I see... You must've come here to talk to your grandfather, then.
Do you know about it as well?
Of course. I was just a child at the time, but I've heard all about it.
Fade to black...
Grandfather, it's important that you tell us everything that you know about her.
Yes, I understand. I will explain. But know that even I cannot tell you everything. Even I don't know everything about her.
It's different now because she slept in her prison for so long, but at that time, we were around the same age. And I... well, I suppose my personal feelings are not important here. But she was a traveler--a rare occurrence among our people. Most of us stay in the same place our entire lives, preferring the familiar to the unfamiliar. She set out one day on a ship, with many others, in order to discover a place spoken of in legends. Months went by, and we heard nothing from them. When a full year had passed, we all thought they'd died. But finally, after having been gone for almost two years, Tiamat returned. Alone. And she had changed. She learned things on her journey. What things they were exactly, I could not tell you. But she had gained incredible power...
You mean... the war between the Havali and King Valkiris? How could she have known this long in advance? Can she see the future?
I don't know, but she warned us that one day, invaders would come from across the seas. No one listened to her, of course. Many thought she'd gone mad. And she probably had. She refused to give us any explanation of where she'd been and why she knew this. I believe that she intentionally kept it secret. She wanted to keep that power all for herself. Finally, angry at her treatment by the people, Tiamat sank further into the depths.
This is a great crime, you must understand. Even Ortas was hesitant to openly usurp power.
We had no choice but to capture her. She was led into a trap, but even then it cost us many lives. But... even after all the damage she had caused, I could not sentence her to death...
And so she was sealed in the Nolan mountains.
Yes. There was an ancient temple there. At the time, the area was not inhabited by humans yet.
Why is it that she hates you so much, though? If it weren't for you, she would've been killed.
I believe I know the reason for that... Because the sealing was involuntary, it was not perfect. She was not sleeping properly.
Jesus, and I thought Ethan had it bad
The endless silence must have driven her completely insane. It's no wonder that she'd hold a grudge against me, and all of the Havali.
So that's why...
What!? We'll be over right away. Just give us a minute to finish up here.
All right. I'll be waiting for you outside!
I have a question. Do you know what her goal is?
She seeks to destroy me... and with me, the entire Havali race. If she were to succeed... I don't know what she would do afterwards. I believe her entire existence is now fueled by her anger towards me. But... she may have an ulterior goal that I know nothing about.
Hmm... I see... Then we'd better hurry. Thanks for all the information. It gives us a better idea of what we're up against.
I've been a fool. She is no longer the woman I used to know. I've been repeating the same mistakes for all these years. It has to come to an end.
We'll end it, grandfather. Have faith in us.
You spoke of a legendary place that Tiamat traveled to... you don't know exactly where it is, do you?
We have some very old records of its existence, but nothing more.
According to the legends it's a holy site, probably a temple for a long-forgotten earth deity.
Would you mind if I asked some of my men to come and study these records? We may be able to find its location. Don't worry, they're good people. If I tell them to be quiet about it they will.
Please do so. I want you to take any measures you can to put a stop to her madness.
Understood. I'll take care of it.
Fade to black...
Following the scene, the sailor who came to get us can be found outside with an offer to teleport us back to the Brunhild. I decline in order to see if Saraswati has shown up in Entalar yet, but unfortunately she has not.
Castor's ship has been found, right?
That's right, we just got word about it. Looks like we got lucky. The exact location is a small beach just north of Serinal port, but it's nowhere near any town.
No towns... anything else of interest in the area?
Not that we know of. All I know is that the ship's there, and Castor himself is no longer on board.
He has to be looking for something in the area. Let's go after him!
And we sail on over to the southern island of the Kingdom--that gate you see in the bottom-left is the northern exit of Serinal Woods. This part of the world map was accessible as soon as we got the first Brunhild, but the building here doesn't appear until we've learned that Castor is investigating this area. So let's see what we've got here...
I don't know... but it's positively ancient. Incredible. These ruins may be even older than the ones on Pargon Island...
We don't have time to be impressed. What Castor was looking for must be somewhere inside.
And we must be ahead of us already. We have to hurry!
And with that, it's dungeon time once again. The gimmick of this area becomes apparent as soon as we step out of the entrance. There are a number of doors in this dungeon that are marked by colored bricks next to them, and there's a blue switch (already lowered) nearby. As you might expect, there are going to be other colored doors and switches throughout this area, and we're going to need to make use of them in the correct order to be able to advance. How they work is still unknown though.
But before we do anything, we head through the red door and land ourselves a powerful spellcard without having to lift a finger:
Earthquake (125MP): Deals major earth damage to all enemies.
Crisis: Bastion (180MP): Temporarily grants both the P-Shield and M-Shield statuses to the entire party.
Stat changes: +3% max HP, +5% VIT, -3% DEX
Bastion is an incredible
We head out of the red door to find a green door, but before we can go through it we run into our first enemies of the dungeon, two Gargoyles. These guys have a regular attack for about 280 damage, and often use the technique Stone Claws to deal 350 damage and inflict petrification on anyone who is not immune (i.e. just Hilbert). They also can use the technique Harden (yeah yeah, stop giggling) to increase their physical defense, but in all honesty it really doesn't make much of a difference. It's possible to steal a Stone Collar accessory from them, which grants +20 VIT and immunity to chaos and instant death. That probably would have been nice several hours ago, but Warding Charms are the new hotness.
Anyway, we head through a nearby green door to find another room, which contains a red switch. Pressing it causes the blue door in this room to open and the blue switch nearby to rise. Of course, there was a blue door in the first room, so we should probably go back and see what's there first before we advance.
Unfortunately it's useless, as there's both a blue and red door behind it, and the red door is closed. But we've found out what the colored switches do: each one closes the doors of the same color while opening all others.
So we head back to the room with the red switch, but on our way there we run into a Jinni. Jinnis mainly attack by using Death Wish, which attempts to cause instant death--but as Hyperion found out, 3/4 of our party is immune to that. They do have a few other moves, though: they can whack us for around 290 damage, or use Air Strike to bust out a four-hit combo of around 200 wind damage per hit.
Jinnis also have a chance to drop the Whirlwind spellcard on death, the wind counterpart to the Earthquake card we just picked up. Unfortunately I couldn't get any to drop in this dungeon.
The blue door in the room with the red switch is open now, so we head through that, and as we're doing so we run into another new enemy: Cubes. Cubes are individually weak, but very fast, and they always show up in big groups. They only have two moves: a regular attack for about 200 damage, and Explode, which sacrifices themselves but also deals 500 damage to a character. They only have 1400 HP, so they're not too hard to take out, but the repeated attacks definitely wear our party down.
Alternatively, if you want to have some fun and have a Crisis handy, you can cast M-Inferno to make the game screen flip the fuck out, while also providing the nice side benefit of killing all of the Cubes in one shot.
Beyond the blue door is another door which allows us to get the chest we saw from the other side of the canal.
Further inside we find a choice of paths behind a red door and blue door, and it's good that I didn't hit the blue switch in the previous room because...
... there's a bunch of treasure behind the blue door, including the top-tier healing spellcard:
Full Heal (150MP): Restores full HP to one ally.
Crisis: M-Renew (175MP): Restores a large amount of HP to all allies.
Stat changes: -4% max HP, +6% max MP
As was the case with Heal when we got it, Full Heal comes to us at a time when the previous tier of healing is starting to show its age. Unfortunately the MP cost jump from Heal to Full Heal is way bigger than the jump from Cure to Heal, to the point where at this stage of the game Full Heal is essentially pointless. Heal will suffice for now, but having this card will probably come in handy later.
Anyway, we go back and hit the blue switch to open the red door, and as we go through it...
Yes, we're definitely in the right place.
It matches exactly with the records I found in Raka Mural. I wasn't even sure if it really existed... I never thought I'd actually find it.
What are you laughing at?
Nothing. It's just that you seem to actually be enjoying this.
You're a funny man. I've never met anyone who dared saying such things to me. Consider yourself lucky that you're amusing me, or that foul mouth of yours would've gotten you killed by now. I was an explorer once... a long, long time ago. Being in a place like this, it brings me back...
So is that how you've come to meet humans in the past? You have met them before, haven't you?
Back with Hilbert...
As control is returned to us, we head forward to find a larger room with a save point in the center. There are more doors to the left and right of us here: a blue door on the left and a green door on the right.
We make our way to the green door, but before we go through it we find the last enemies of this dungeon: two Electric Cells and a Dark Shade. As with all of the enemies that look like them, Electric Cells are assholes with near-immunity to physical attacks, but fortunately Lorenza is now powerful enough to take them out with a single top-tier spell. They can slap us around for 225 damage or use Bio-Lightning to inflict about 440 lightning damage to a character.
Dark Shades are pretty lame, with low HP and rather weak attacks. Their regular attack only does about 150 damage, and their only technique is Dark Wave, which deals around 130 damage to the entire party.
Now then, it's time for the final puzzle of this dungeon. The green door we went through takes us to a room where we need to have both blue and green doors open to advance. Unfortunately the only switch here is green. We step on it regardless.
There's also a small treasure room off to the south, but there's nothing major in it.
We head through the red door on the left side of the room, which leads us back to the big room with the save point.
With the green switch active, we can enter the blue door at the north end of the room, which contains nothing but a red switch.
And with that, we can go back to the room we were in a second ago and continue on.
The next room offers us a choice of paths. The staircase on the right...
... leads to the passage we saw behind the blue door at the beginning of the dungeon, giving us an easy exit.
And the archway on the left...
Fade to black...
Haven't you noticed yet? We're no longer inside the ruins.
Then where are we?
Be quiet. I'm reading these inscriptions... Hmm...
Fade to black...
Now do you understand? This is Lemuria, the legendary ark. The whole structure was built to contain it. This is what I've been looking for...
Fade to black...
An earthquake? Is it a coincidence, or is something going on down there?
Be careful! We don't know if this place will hold!
Fade to black...
Oh come on. Since when do JRPG bad guys get an airship before the heroes do?
Something like this was built ten thousand years ago?
I understood everything, when I read those old scriptures. It was all in there. All of this, all these advancements that had gone to waste and were forgotten... The world today is only a shadow of how it used to be. Even Luminas was destroyed. Now the Havali live in a miserable cave deep underground. All the people on this planet... they're pitiful. They're not even worthy of existing. I will...
Yes, you're right. We have to do something. With this ship, we can finally crush Entalar. I'm setting course immediately!
Stop that. Have a little patience. Can you pilot this whole ship all by yourself? You think they'll lay down and surrender? Sooner or later, we'll be under attack. You can't do everything at once.
Fade to black...
There's no mistaking it. That really was...
A flying ship.
Can we follow it in the Brunhild?
No way. Look how fast it's going.
Next time: We make Castor an offer he can't refuse.