Part 16: UPDATE 11: Liberation of AlbaMechanics talk can continue after THIS UPDATE
Update 11: Liberation of Alba
Last time, we found that we were suddenly thrust into a starring role in the revolution due to our discovery of, y'know, the impending apocalypse. I believe we were right about at the part where we take advantage of the situation and conquer the Southern Region.
No fucking around this time -- let's just get straight to it. Hit me with some wisdom, Hugo.
: "...reinforcements at Dardunnelles as a mutiny by the Southern Division."
oh hey looks like baldwin was giving godeslas bad advice for some reason
i am utterly shocked at this development
: "Wasn't the Southern Division... the general following the Central Division's orders?"
: "We have no idea why General Godeslas decided to involve those monsters... But it's certain that the Central Region is worried about Lodis. If they learn that Palatinus was employing monsters, nothing can be said if they consider this kingdom as a land of pagans. The entire Southern Devision was cut off to emphasize that the Central Region took no part in the incident..."
"hey bro just take this fruit and throw a big old party with it, all your problems will be solved instantly"
"whats it called you say? uh, the fruit of the netherworld. don't worry though, that's just to sell to preteens"
"i got it at hot topic"
: "......Cut off, huh...?"
: "Troops have been dispatched to control the chaos created by the monsters. Most of them, including Destin and his company, were sent to this region. ...We're on our own against the Southern Division. Let's get started... "
Well, none of that exactly makes SENSE per se but the game is really just justifying not giving us a huge anticlimax by letting Destin do this, so I'll take it!
: "Akka Castle, a half day's march north of Allada, is our objective. We must take the castle. There is only one possible route... directly north into Akka Castle."
: "We will lose in a battle of numbers. I think it's best to wait for the enemy to come to us, then defeat them one at a time."
what would i do without you
: "...the Southern Division is a force to be reckoned with. I'm also concerned about General Godeslas' intentions. ...We must stay alert."
: "...Regardless of why, this is a perfect opportunity for us. I want to meet the expectations of our sympathizers and the Revolutionary Army, who took us in. Inform everyone to prepare for battle!"
Okay so we're assaulting the regional capital, I imagine we're going to be seeing the absolute cream of the Southern Division. Elite crack troops. Let's see what we've got coming at us right now.
Huh. Witches and Gremlins. Okay, their advance force appears to be their Annoyance Specialists. That's a viable strategy. I can understand that. Let's see what kind of bruisers these guys are paving the
Soldiers. Really. The real question is why nobody else conquered Alba first.
Dietrich's Witch Patrol paralyzes half of Asnabel's unit, but he still closes out his first field combat with a dead enemy leader.
Nobody else does as well. In Guy and Troi's defense, Phalanxes are kind of hard to kill sometimes.
Troi does eventually redeem himself.
Sort of. Yes, Sexwale just got killed. By a Gremlin.
Note that he'd chased both of these units to a Stronghold where they were healing. If you'll recall, the closest enemy stronghold on the map was guarded by a Witch. This witch specifically:
Troi is in no state to tangle with Pumpkinheads. As soon as Sexwale died I got him right the fuck out of there.
Meantime the second wave appears to consist entirely of some old dude and... the undead. Let's talk about Undead.
Shockingly, the Undead and Demons in OB64 are completely unaffiliated and could not be more dissimilar in terms of game mechanics either. Where Demons are all about power power power (also Goblins sometimes), Undead are more gimmicky. They're pretty light on attack power for the most part, but their thing is that if they're dead at the end of a combat, they will revive themselves at full health. There are two ways to kill an Undead unit for good: (1) kill them with a Holy-element attack or (2) wipe out their unit, which technically just makes them retreat I guess but they can't come back from that anyway.
If you'll recall me saying this earlier, dead units are only permadead when they turn Undead. The only way to completely and irrevocably lose a Unit, therefore, is to have it get killed with a Holy attack while undead.
The fact that this guy is the offensive powerhouse of the Undead says a lot about Undead. Stat growth isn't great, but he/she is unique among the undead in that you can switch out her/his equipment. Basically like a slightly worse Berserker with post-battle regen but no chance of ever switching to a better class. Two attacks in front, one everywhere else. Created when a Zombie is hit with a Fire-element attack. Yeah. Just picture THAT. You're welcome.
The final link in the Undead evolutionary chain, the Ghost is... basically a Witch. Its Nightmare attack deals no damage and puts the target to sleep. Y'know, I think Ghosts are actually BETTER than Witches. Hear me out -- you don't need to worry about damage output so stats hardly matter, and they are very unlikely to die as long as you're careful. I still won't be using any, but they're a viable status-causing class for that reason. Two Nightmares in the back, one everywhere else. Created when a Skeleton is hit with a Wind-element attack for some reason.
Guy was born to kill this dude. The Ghost is entirely useless against Equius, the Skeleton might as well be, and The Dude himself is squishy as hell, there in his center column. Done and done.
With a Morale of 15, Bowende doesn't have a single chance of getting Liberated by anyone in my army. But that symbol in the lower left means there's a Witch Den there. I haven't shown off Witch Dens, and I have some business there.
Therefore whether he likes it or not Freddie is going to march his own damn self into that town, punch their village elder right in his stupid old face, impose the tyrannical rule of law, and SMILE the whole goddamn time.
Wait, hold up, that Witch unit had a Pumpkinhead unit in the back row, right? I don't think we've seen
WHOA WHAT THE HELL
WHAT JUST HAPPENED
If I may answer my own question: When placed in the back row, the Pumpkinhead gets a special move called Pumpkin Shower. Pumpkin Shower has the same effect as Pumpkin Smash if it got to use it 5 to 7 times in a row and dealt area damage on some of it, then hit itself once. Yes, this just ruined 95% of Reynolds' shit. Yes, this is very exploitable. But that's neither here nor there.
We've got some business to conduct in this town.
: "You're fighting a war, aren't you!? Through years of research, I finally came upon a way to perform miracles without relying on a god..."
miracles without the divine intervention part
so, you mean, like... doing things. yes, i too have a way to do stuff and occasionally things happen.
: "...I think. But my experiment is going slow, due to a lack of willing subjects. Now, I can revive those fallen in battle. Doing this will help me with my research. ...I do have to ask for a small fee, though."
Somehow, in at least one town on every mission map, there is a crazy old lady who (a) looks exactly like this one, (b) is researching the art and the science of the agnostic miracle, (c) needs to resurrect dead people to pursue this research, and (d) is willing to accept our money in return for performing this service for us.
: "So you want Sexwale to be brought back to life, eh? That'll cost you 400 Goth. ...Alright, then. Let's begin. Holp, the god of wisdom, grant me the secret of returning the deceased back to life!"
: "There... I'm done. Looks like everybody is alive and well... There are others like me throughout the land, who carry out their own experiments. Visit them, in case misfortune falls on your comrades. But... don't push yourself too hard. Take care."
Using a Witch Den isn't quite as good as an Altar of Resurrection -- Sexwale is back, but he's out of action for a while until he can heal -- but it's much more cost-effective and sometimes it's easier to get to a Witch Den than it is to get to your HQ. Both ways have their uses.
The timing on undead characterss regenerating was not intended for screenshots -- the message "so-and-so has revived" appears, then it's gone, then the character fades back in. This was the best I could do -- you'll just have to trust me that that skeleton was dead a second ago. ...er, MORE dead.
THERE we go, that one stuck.
In the East, the all-too-lawful town of Geohel is guarded by a Cleric/Golem combo. This is actually almost as effective as a Doll Master / Golem combo, or it would be if it were rotated 90 degrees and the Cleric shifted over a little. Guy's got the best shot out of any of my units at liberating it (other than maybe Leia, who's on HQ duty), but he might actually lose this war of attrition due to not having any healing, so I'm sending Ivory along with him to nuke.
Back in the center of the map, Troi was chasing a leaderless unit only to come across this fully-formed one before I could get a shot of its formation. I used a battle shot instead. He won, but nothing died.
The town of Naroque, in the Northwest, is guarded by Brandle the healing-loving knight.
Asnabel was in the area after chasing a leaderless unit up there, so I sent him in to deal with the locals. Here's him being badass.
First comes the death.
Next comes the glory.
Fire works pretty well on Clerics and Golems both. Unfortunately, down Geohel way they take Law pretty seriously and Guy was just too wishy-washy for them. Bleh. I can't WAIT until I get the items I need to cheat my way out of alignment issues.
At Geohel's Shop, we see elemental books for the first time. If you're wondering how to control which spell element your casters use, here's your answer. If you give a Water caster a Book of Water, they'll get stronger; if you give a non-Water caster one, they'll get stronger AND become a Water caster as long as they're holding it.
Geohel's sister city of Vertze is just as stuffy about Law. Great. It's guarded by Jennique and some oddly shy friends of hers.
Fuck it. The revolution's coming, Vertzeans. Best get used to it.
The other two elemental books can be found at Vertze, as well as... shit, we can't afford that. Not even close.
The Book of Annihilation will get more expensive as your game goes on. We definitely won't have enough for it for quite some time. ( We'll be getting another one for free anyway. )
This doesn't even feel fair.
Our last two leaderless units managed to get behind the boss somehow. Getting around back there would be a huge pain in the ass and hardly worth it, so screw it, let's just finish this up.
What's up, Goddy. Wish I could say I found your class name surprising.
What else should our cutscene find Godeslas doing but sitting in his throne? Not all is as it should be, though -- note the shadowy figure photobombing in that doorway back there.
: "Shit! How could this happen? Even I was branded as an insurgent..."
gonna say it's probably because you took the reinforcements they sent and sacrificed them to demons
yeah thatd do it
: "I guess this is the end of your career... You did quite well for yourself, don't you think?"
look at THIS smug motherfucker
: "Sir Baldwin!! What have you done!? No... You... You deceived me!?"
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the main military and civilian administrator of the Southern Region.
: "What did I do...? You had your chance. You just didn't put your power to good use."
Baldwin doesn't really so much like the touching. He throws Godeslas the fuck down those stairs.
: "You willingly sacrificed your own family to save yourself, and now you dare blame me for your misdeeds!?"
To clarify: Godeslas is a dude who has just taken something called the Fruit of the Netherworld and fed it to his wife and kids so that they would explode into monsters that may or may not decide to help him deal with a political situation he caused through his own ineptitude, because a guy with slicked-back hair said that otherwise he would get fired.
Baldwin is a pusher. Godeslas is an addict. The drug is power.
: "It turned out that this was all you were capable of. I'm sure you're glad to know that you were of good use to us. This was a very valuable case to examine. We learned that someone with little desire, like yourself, can only gain so much from the fruit of the netherworld."
From a different angle: Baldwin is a scientist. The fruit is a pharmaceutical or cosmetic product. Godeslas is a guinea pig starring in a Greek tragedy.
: "...I'm afraid I must be going now. Did you finally realize that you can't do anything without our counsel? ...Are you angry at me, at yourself? Channel that rage. Strike back at the Revolutionary Army! ...Perhaps you can gain the power, too."
Something else we've learned from this scene: Baldwin may have completely fucked Godeslas over as a science experiment, but it's still very much in his interest for the Revolution to fail and the pro-Lodis Palatinean government to stay in power.
Baldwin out. Freddie in.
: "Freddie, if only you hadn't betrayed me... What meaning did my life hold? You can't imagine what I went through for this!! Do you understand my pain!? Do you have anything you'd protect at all costs, even if you had to sacrifice your own family!?"
by "anything" he means "a cushy job where i get to sit on a throne and yell at people"
Godeslas is an interesting case because I for one can never make up my mind whether my chief emotion toward him is pure utter disdain or abject pity.
WHOA he's on fire
Godeslas, why are you on fire?
For those keeping score, purple in OB64 = evil. Purple flames around a character means it's go time.
We've seen Knights and Valkyries before. We haven't seen a Vanity before, though -- I believe that Godeslas is one of only two in the game. In his spot in the back row, he gets Infest. Infest is combo magic (Air/Bane). We can't even CAST Bane magic yet, and Godeslas gets to cast a combo of it by himself due to his crazy Netherworld evil-steroids power. Let's see what it does.
That's... that's really all you've got, huh?
Fittingly enough, Freddie himself puts the general out of his misery.
Godeslas Branic died as he lived: the biggest joke in Alba.
Godeslas's sword is the basic second-tier rapier. Not great, but better than anything we've got right now. Headed straight for Ivory's hands.
Here's where I'll cut this off for now -- this update is already on the long side and we've got a LOT of plot ahead of us.
NEXT TIME ON OGRE BATTLE: CHAPTER BREAK