Part 15: UPDATE 10: The Infernal AuraJust a few things I need to do before we get down to business.
Our next set of Golems (yes, there will definitely be at least one) will probably be Jewier than this. Meantime we've got a goon and... a fictional goon. Who loves being STRONG.
Also, we've got one special Wizard/Sorceress weapon we took from that crazy guy. Rather than casting this instrument of the occult into the Furthest Ring and forgetting it ever existed, I'm giving it to Rose.
Oh, and one more training session was enough to promote Sexwale. Something tells me I'll be needing the magical firepower very soon...
With that stuff out of the way, let's go to Dardunelles! That scene name sure isn't the most ominous thing in the world, no sir!
Update 10: The Infernal Aura
Our pre-mission cutscene for tonight begins with some guy coming to visit Godeslas.
: "Sir Baldwin! It is nice to see you again. What brings you here? Do you need to take care of some business?"
"What brings you here? Maybe it's the vaguest thing I could possibly say?"
Meet Sir Baldwin, the game's first Lodisian representative! Didn't he just get a star on the Walk of Fame or something? Quest is turning up the star power in this game!
: "The Southern Region... is in terrible condition."
: "...A, am I to be punished?"
: "No, I didn't come here for that. But the Triumvirate is taking the matter quite seriously. ...Punishment is inevitable."
Seems Lodis subscribes to the Darth Vader school of disciplining underperforming subordinates! Or at least Baldwin is implying this heavily. Take your pick.
: "I personally believe that it wasn't completely your fault. And you have been good to me for a long time..."
I don't think Godeslas knows what a Good Cop is.
: "...Are you willing to try it?"
In case you're wondering, even at full resolution it's not quite clear immediately what this mysterious red object Baldwin's holding is.
: "...Wh, What is that?"
: "This will grant you power. ...There are some risks involved, though."
With that, we cut away from what is clearly shaping up to be the best decision ever made by a human in the process of being made, to find some familiar faces in the Hugo Room.
doesn't hugo work for you now?
: "Long time no see... Freddie, right?"
"long time no see" is a strong candidate for my least favorite sentence in the english language
it is of course trumped by "long time no talk"
: "...Y, You're...!"
Freddie is totally fanboying out right now.
: "Last time we met, we were still on opposing sides... I'm Destin Faroda. Glad to make your acquaintance."
: "Me, too. ...Um, I apologize for the other day."
"what's he talking about, he's been wandering around reuniting estranged couples and fighting griffins for like two months"
: "I lashed out at you without understanding the intentions of the Revolutionary Army."
: "Oh, that. It's no big deal. You're here with me, by your own will. ...That's the important thing."
: "Thank you, Destin."
: "Alright, next topic. There is a reason why we wanted you to come here. Currently, the reinforcements from the Central Division are heading for Akka Castle. I want you to liberate this area and prepare for the encounter with the enemy reinforcements. And at the same time, we will conduct the assault on Akka Castle!"
: "I see. Leave this area to me."
: "We're relying on you, Freddie."
OUR MISSION: Cut off reinforcements while the cast of the last game liberates the capital and wins the day for everyone. Sure. I'm so sure that's exactly how it's going to play out.
: "Now, let me explain the details. Let's get started..."
: "Fort Akkisis, a day and a half to the east, is our destination. We must liberate the fort. You can either travel east through the mountains..."
: "...There are unconfirmed rumors that the Southern Division has sent reinforcements here. There's no way for us to verify that. ...Be very careful."
didn't Destin just say dealing with them was our only job?
right, right, cryptic, nevermind
: "The course of the revolution depends on the outcome of this operation..."
Well that was quick.
"I don't trust you because you just switched to my side. Here, go rescue one dude from a strategically useless area."
"Okay, done, but only after I whine about how unimportant that assigment was!"
"Cool, now that that's over with, safeguard the success of our entire political movement, would you? Thanks!"
Right, so our job is to fight some reinforcements. Let's get to work. Besieging us from the get-go is a Doll Master named Colin.
After dodging Dio's last attack he gets away with his life. Meh, we'll deal with him later. Meantime someone else is attacking. Let's take a look.
Let's see, we've got a Wizard and...
...the hell is that thing?
We interrupt the battle in progress to show you this Revolutionary knight -- he doesn't work for us; I don't know WHO he came here with -- discovering a dead body on the streets of some town somewhere.
: "I knew about the reinforcements, but who did this, before we even arrived?"
: "B, Bastards!!"
Sorry guys, but y'all are fucked. vv
: "Come on, everybody, let's go!"
Yes, as Leia so eloquently puts it, these are Ogres.
In two words: HUGE MOTHERFUCKER. Has the attack of a Hellhound, the defense of a Golem, and the HP of a glacier. These things are bad news. Three attacks in the front row, two in the middle, one in the back. They are pretty slow, though, so enemies have a decent chance of blocking or dodging those Fighter-sized hammers. Magic works well too.
These guys aren't really worth your attention. Often seen with Ogres, but really the Ogres are the things you should be worrying about. Not terrible, but not anything to write home about either. Two attacks in front, one everywhere else.
Ogres hit like a truck, especially this early. I sent Leia in here because she's got Katreda -- I'm being extra cautious my first time fighting an Ogre, and also this guy is a Wizard alone in the middle column so I can get away with only taking in four offensive characters.
From there it's simple -- Ogres in the back row are basically very lifelike punching bags.
Marauding down from the North comes Demi and her pet Dragons. Hey, front row, perfect place for a caster.
Thing is, in his command debut Guy fails to kill her, and from there on out her formation reverses and puts her in the back. It's a slugfest now -- Dragons vs Golems -- and she's nuking Equius pretty effectively too.
yes yes good
kill the dragon with a puppet, yes
Goddammit, Equius is dead. Okay, better call off Guy so he can come back to base and
DAMMIT GUY KEEP YOUR ROBES ON
i guess that's fine
One more attacker in this initial wave: Baskirk. Like most leaders who place themselves alone in the center column he's dealt with pretty easily, Hellhound or no Hellhound.
While we're waiting for the next wave, let's see if we can't do something about Equius's death problems. There are two ways to revive dead characters. One is to find a stronghold with a Witch Den, but the only one in Dardunelles is all the way on the other side of the map, so instead I'm ordering Guy to retreat.
Once he's retreated, he's back on the Organize Screen and I can use disposable items on him, like for example this Altar of Resurrection. You don't get that many of these, but each of them will bring a character from Dead to Full HP, no harm no foul. Equius is alive again!
Now then, our next wave of attackers includes (a) Colin, back for Round 2, and (b) a couple of guys who apparently forgot they had to sleep at some point.
Hm. Not quite sure what to say about these humans hanging out with monsters. At any rate both of them are making AI Mistake #1 (alone in center column) and also #2 (sleeping where I can see them).
It's kind of hard to tell from this screenshot, but Elliot and his Ogre are both sleeping and the Golem isn't. Golems don't sleep, so they're immune to Sleep status, either from Camping or from Gremlins/Witches.
At any rate the usual "kill the leader and pick the frontliners off in the back row at your leisure" strategy works wonders here.
Guy continues his slow start, though, by not QUITE killing off Leon or Colin.
Luckily Leon shows less sense than Colin and comes right back for more. He gets his wish.
The northern stronghold of Melphy is guarded by Stella. She does everything wrong in her formation...
...and compensates by not turning to face Troi as he attacks her from the side. He kills her anyway.
While fighting Colin for like his third time, Rose and Lime demonstrate why casters in OB64 are always better in pairs. Since they're in the same row, they have the same target, and they kind of like each other, they both cast Fireball at once. This joint attack is stronger than two individual attacks would be, and deals splash damage too! (Colin got Marty'd shortly after these shots. Finally.)
The hilariously-named Bungasue is guarded by this lackluster unit.
HEY DOCTA JONES, NO TIME FOR LOVE, WE GOT COMPANY
Moving along in the north, Freddie and Troi are faced with Leda the witch. And some Pumpkinheads. Hooooooo boy, Pumpkinheads.
These things are gimmicky, but the thing is that I really like their gimmick. Their main attack, Pumpkin Smash, will halve the HP of its target. In other words, this thing starts combat off by wrecking shit, then sees diminishing returns. Still pretty awesome, if something of a glass cannon. Their back-row attack is something else again, but I decline to explain it here. (Please humor me and follow this example!)
okay, getting there
TOTALLY WORTH IT
So yeah, while you're trying to kill a meatshield and a Witch, two Pumpkinheads and two Knights can kind of wipe the floor with you even if you have good healing. Luckily the way my unit's set up they mostly can't hit the same targets, and Pumpkinheads rarely kill anything themselves, so I was able to come out on top at the cost of losing a lot. Once again, no soldiers means I don't care.
Yeah in the meantime Freddie has to sit down for a while. Let's see what's going on in the east over there. (NOTE: Dio chased a leaderless unit all the way up here from where he'd been stationed in the middle. Oy.)
Garu Kaio, a stronghold within spitting distance of the enemy HQ, is guarded by Orwell, who at least had the good sense to stand off to the left instead of the middle.
I shuffle Ivory's formation so that both of her casters can target him and he goes down easy. However Ivory is FAR too lawful to take Garu Kaio, which is pretty damn Chaotic, so for the moment she's roughing it.
Asnabel is on HQ-guarding duty this mission, so it falls to Dio to try to liberate the place. God help him.
Meantime, the slightly out-of-the-way stronghold of Ramballene, to the south, is guarded by this incredibly boring unit. I sent Leia down to deal with it and she found me a replacement Altar, just, like, sitting on the ground. Not too bad.
FUCK YOU AND FUCK YOUR PUMPKINHEADS.
Leia treated the people of Ramballene with honor and respect. Dio made fun of the mayor of Garu Kaio's funny-looking hairstyle when, like, EVERYONE was watching. Can't win 'em all.
So, earlier we saw what happens when two casters combine their efforts on casting the same spell. When the two collaborating mages would individually cast DIFFERENT spells, though, the combination ends up being an entirely new spell.
For example, Jager and Sexwale here, who would individually cast Fireball and Lightning Bolt, work together to cast Plasma Ball. It totally nukes the fuck out of this sleeping Black Dragon. Killer.
Anyway, that was the last normal enemy. Let's check out the boss.
Oh, it's Ariosh! Hi, Ariosh!
Hm. This might be problematic. He's got an Ogre sitting in the front row. You can't tell from the shot, but that Ogre? Level 20. Ariosh is level 10. Most of my units are level 8 or 9. This boss battle here can be pretty challenging if you're not prepared for it.
The thing to keep in mind is that my mission is not to kill this Ogre but to kill Ariosh. And Ariosh may be sitting pretty behind a Phalanx, but in the end of the day he's a Knight in the back row and I'm packing some SERIOUS magical artillery.
Before I get to that, though, one detail: Notice Ariosh's terrain type? It's Pln, which would totally make sense except for the fact that he's a boss and it should be Imm. It IS possible to get Ariosh to move off of his HQ, although he's still pretty protective of it. I've never managed to steal it out from under him without a fight, but YMMV.
Ariosh is all the way on the right. Let's just shuffle my formation to capitalize on this and we can get started.
: "What are they!? You've sold your soul to the devil to defeat us!?"
: "I, if not for you... the revolution... This... This wouldn't have... Aaaaaaaahhhh!!"
man Ariosh, you even switched over to a red color scheme? How COULD you? <> Someone's just BEGGING for a Plasma Ball to the face.
Not too bad, but Troi's hurting from being hit repeatedly with a hammer the size of him. Time to skedaddle.
And there you have it. Easy peasey Japanesey.
The Sum Mannus is an Air-elemental sword and our new most powerful one. Fun fact: "Sum Mannus" is Latin for "I am a pony." If the game's trying to tell us something here I dunno what it is.
Freddie's actually getting into this interrogation! That's new!
took another screenshot here for ariosh flailing his arms wildly
: "That's enough, Freddie."
Oh, and Good Cop Bad Cop comes up for the second time this update. At least this time both cops are present. At any rate that's enough to make Freddie put Ariosh down.
: "I can't say if those creatures are truly Ogres. But... that peculiar feeling, that Infernal Aura... I've felt that before."
"Ogre" has a different connotation in Ogre Battle Land than it does on Earth. While we understand the word as one of many variants of "big dumb galoot" type monsters, in OB lore the Ogres are the footsoldiers of the Netherworld, and the demons that run that joint are prophesied to one day walk the earth and wage war upon mortals and blah blah blah you can probably tell where that's going.
So, yeah. Factions OB64 has introduced so far: (1) the Palatinean government, (2) the Revolutionary Army and the Zenobian government, (3) the Holy Lodis Empire, and (4) DEMONS.
: "...Infernal... Aura...?"
I know that was presented as a phrase Destin just made up, but trust me we're gonna be hearing it A LOT.
: "That means... either they've succumbed to the way of darkness, or... They came from the netherworld."
The Infernal Aura is kind of like the Dark Side of the Force only less subtle. Basically it makes you stronger but brainwashes you.
: "They're denizens of the netherworld, aren't they!? ...Damn it, what did you do!?"
: "...The general... he sacrificed the people who ate the fruit of the netherworld... Their bodies burst from the inside, and... The denizens of the netherworld, the Ogres, appeared..."
The image of an Ogre bursting from the chest of a normal-sized human is fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your preference) not one the game explicitly shows.
: "...Netherworld? ...Ogres!? What are you... Don't tell us a lie, just because you don't know what you're dealing with..."
come to think of it aren't you supposed to be liberating akka castle right now?
i mean yes i know how to show a guy a good time, but still
: "The Ogre Battle is only a legend, isn't it...?"
Well I guess the appearance of FUCKING DEMONS has changed the situation a little bit and taking Akka Castle is now our job. As it should be. Don't tell me you couldn't tell we'd be fighting Godeslas the second we met him.
NEXT TIME ON OGRE BATTLE: The war for the Southern Region reaches a climax!