Part 24: UPDATE 19: Visitors from the WestWelcome to IRON OGRE WEEKEND, day ONE
First things first, the damnedest thing happened.
I checked my Organize Screen and for some reason I had 55 Valiant Mantles! Also another one! See? The DAMNEDEST THING. Oh well! vv
man for being so rare they sure aren't very good
I also had a few advanced weapons to throw around, blah blah
boring boring relevant relevant
One of Freddie's Knights was ready to become a Paladin, but not the other one. I don't really know how that works, but whatev, we've got plenty of time.
I relieved Ivory of command of her unit for long enough to give her a little upgrade. Is she the first Dragon Master we've seen? I believe so!
For some reason the Dragon Master was made the best female frontliner in the game, with STR, VIT, and HP gains equal to those of a Paladin. The only real problem with them is only getting access to mediocre armor/not great weapons, and only getting two attacks in every row. Oh, they still boost Dragons too, which will become increasingly relevant as the game progresses. They have upgraded from wearing a dragon skull to wearing tiny dragon wings of some sort. Sure, doesn't look any sillier than Valkyrie headbands.
Vad is introduced to Leia's unit. He gets some fancy Air claws, some fancy Air armor, and three attacks in the front row. In the back, he gets two Fatal Dances. I haven't tried using him for that before, so let's give it a whirl.
Also I switched Saradin in for Jager (who may be retired at this point). As you can see, they went out of their way to make Saradin actually able to use Ray of Paralysis like he did in that cutscene forever ago, inexplicably making his front-row attack a Witch spell and having a Book of Flame come standard on him. As you can also see, he is completely unable to equip any wand other than that fancy one he brought with him, and he is our first tier-2 magic user. As soon as I can make people Chaotic I intend to fix that.
I did some juggling of elemental books, mostly boring stuff. Let's just cut to the chase here.
I guess Talpaea is somewhere to the northeast of us? And we can go either north or east around that big intimidating-looking forest to get there? Okay, sure. Let's go North, I'm sure there are absolutely no repercussions to straying too far in that direction.
UPDATE 19: Visitors from the West
Man, Hugo's kind of rushing through this today. What's the matter, Hugo? Prostate problems? Take all the bathroom breaks you need.
: "Let's get started..."
: "We must capture the fort, and secure the road to Castle Talpaea."
Uhhh shouldn't we be going EAST from here? I mean if you just want to take that fort, sure let's do it, just be straightup about it man.
THIS won't be a huge annoying hassle, no sir
: "I was expecting them to simply march southward from Castle Talpaea... Something's fishy..."
Then WHY are we marching WEST? Hugo, I consider us bros, but that means I need you to be HONEST with me.
: "This may be... No, I shouldn't make unfounded speculations. But, be careful."
jeez, such a worrywart, hugo
it's not like we have any big angry neighbors to the west with a very real business stake in the outcome of our revolution, dont be such a party pooper
im sure thats just a troupe of flying bums, this is kind of a trashy area
: "Do you understand? Then, let's go."
Again with the rushing me! Relax, dude, it's a beautiful day! Now let me just go shoo off this cloud of airborne panhandlers. I'll come get you when it's time to clean all their shit off your car.
Immediately coming to attack us we have... Hm. That's new. I guess this place has a large Christian population in addition to all the bums. They must have been attracted by... all the opportunities for charity. Sure. Let's go say hi!
Would you believe this is the best CG render of these guys I could find? They're not popular, apparently, as they are not story-important characters and we'll never be able to make one ourselves. Well, picture slightly more defense-oriented Paladins. They get three attacks in the front, but don't have quite as much offensive capability (and also carry Baldr Swords by default rather than Blessed Swords, which hurts them). They're very excited to talk to you about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
(also I kind of wish this game had an Assassin class so I could reenact the GREATEST WAR IN HISTORY)
Hi! I like your helmet, that's a really fancy cross design you've got there! I do have to warn you though, if you came looking for converts you might be out of luck.
you see, we're, ah, all Jews here
Yep. Every single one of us.
(seriously, thread, telling a would-be missionary you're Jewish appears to have roughly the same effect that telling them you're a Satanist would, but it sure gets them to fuck right off pretty fast! I kind of want to tell one I'm Wiccan, but I don't know enough about that to fake it. )
Oh. You're THAT kind of Christian. Okay. That's cool. (Get those swords ready, guys.)
Look behind you! It's Sarah Palin!
See, if you REALLY want to confuse a Jesus freak, attack them with magical implements of both the holy and unholy elements. They won't know what the fuck.
With the arrival of Saradin, who casts different-level magic from Sexwale, Troi's unit has temporarily lost the ability to use combo magic, changing them from a magical powerhouse to a physical one (since they still have not one but two paladins).
Okay, in retrospect? The Jew defense might not have been the best move we could have made there. Now we're getting attacked by flying homeless people AND the local Bible brigade. And... they seem to be in cahoots???
Look at these poor souls. They're so bad off they can't even afford new unit designs or upgraded Wyrms.
I could have sworn I killed someone with this exact name and unit design last mission. New hypothesis: angry zombie birdman hobos???
Baker here has a pretty good design, or he would if he put himself in the front and an Archer behind him. I guess he's a well-respected local figure or something. Maybe he'll be reasonable.
NO, THANK YOU, WE WOULD NOT LIKE TO SEE ANY PAMPHLETS OR CHICK TRACTS. YES, I AM AWARE THAT JESUS LOVES ME. YES, YOU HAVE A NICE DAY TOO.
Quantitative analysis of the proper location for Vad: In the back, he attacked with 2 Fatal Dances for 33 damage each. In the front he attacked with 3 Rends for 28 damage each. 84 > 66; therefore he fits in the front row better. QED.
Leia's having a hard time keeping up with that; only 27 damage and only 2 attacks! Luckily she'll get a class upgrade soon.
Guy very nearly didn't kill this bum, alone in the center column, on his first try. Think I'm about due to try upgrading my Golems as well.
Ivory knows the best way to get in my good graces: kill flying units all at once so they can't run away and lead you on a merry chase across the entire goddamn map. She's going nowhere but up.
Apparently that particular hobo was carrying this macabre instrument of the occult. Lord knows where he got it; he can't even equip it (in case you can't tell, it is a wand). Mine now!
One more unit coming up from the South. Look at that rabble. Don't make eye contact, Troi.
This is probably unethical in some way. Can't quite put my finger on it.
How subtle! Yes, yes, I know, Asnabel, Katreda is a fine young girl and I'll have another job for her soon.
Pretty much the only worthwhile thing at this shop was a steady supply of Arc Wands, which are surprisingly cheap. I picked a few of them up.
I somehow managed not to get any screenshots of it, but I sent Dio up to the North where he met this Templar unit. His name is Fredo. I remember that because it allows me to make a really timely, topical, and witty reference after the next screenshot.
DON'T EVER TAKE SIDES WITH ANYONE AGAINST THE FAMILY, FREDO
Dio liberates the very Italian stronghold of Frattelli. For no particular reason I elect to let him take a little shore leave inside.
: "He proposed to me. He said he'd come back for me in 3 years. And, he wanted to fly around the world for our honeymoon. I can't wait "
okay, my hypothesis: One of those flying vagrants that was swarming our HQ en masse earlier was also a pedophile. Good thing I killed most of them.
Don't worry, little girl, the new regime I'm fighting to bring about will provide you with proper psychiatric care. My advice to you? Sometime in the next three years, move away. Also nix the pigtails, sickos LOVE that shit.
In the south, one of THOSE PEOPLE has somehow managed to take control of a Stronghold. Suspicious if you ask me. Time for a little investigation.
STAY AWAY FROM LITTLE GIRLS, CREEP
Meanwhile in the west, I guess this guy just couldn't manage to get his hands on a fourth Faerie or Gremlin to fill up his unit? They're not exactly rare.
Put in a LITTLE effort, Rhatt.
The very French stronghold of Dauphin surrenders () to Asnabel, while in the South I had to send Freddie in to take (the very German stronghold of) Drumheller because, at slightly more lawful than Neutral, he is currently my most Chaotic unit. Yeesh.
The Claymore is the only Greatsword we've found above the default Bastard Sword. Required for the upgraded Fencer, which I better be able to make some of after this mission.
Uggghhh it's SO ANNOYING when music stars go into Christian phases. You just KNOW his next two albums at the very least are going to be completely unlistenable. What would Christian crunk music even sound like???
Daaaaamn. That top-40 money buys Lil Jon a pretty nice-looking unit. Gonna have to call in a specialist for this shit.
This, my friends, is the most important moment in this LP. Nothing is beyond me now. The very Chaos contained in this pot will sweep over the continent and engulf my enemies in oblivion!
...More about that next update.
This is, uh
I guess this is also pretty nice, it's just the urn of chaos is a tough act to follow Required for Dianas
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a Flame Flail slamming into a Doll Master's face -- forever.
uhhh Lil Jon I think you dropped this
Leia carries out some more solid police work by clearing out this shifty-eyed Vultan unit and liberating Coppermine.
Immediately afterward, Leia is busy standing by herself doing absolutely nothing in the middle of nowhere when a Hawkman happens by.
Oh hey, not one but two celebrities on this map. Hi! I've never actually watched Two and a Half Men, but I liked you in Ferris Bueller's Day Off! I wish I'd found you a couple of weeks ago, jokes about you are kind of tired by this point.
: "What do you mean why? Can't you tell what kind of condition this kingdom is in?"
Those wings are new. Is that, like, a side effect of drinking too much tiger blood or something? Maybe someone... altered your... Adonis DNA?... ugh forget it i'll stop now
: "Of course I can. WIth the tiny hope in my heart... I finally made it here, but what do I see? This place is no different from Lodis."
: "Lodis!? ...You!"
(jeez Leia, calm down, it's just a narcissist with too much money)
: "Hey, hold on! Calm down, will ya? I don't belong to anybody. I'm just a free, peace-loving hawkman. Yeah, I did stay in Lodis for a while. But I left there cuz I hated their guts. Do you happen to know of a place where there's lots of fine young ladies like you?"
hmmmmmmmmmm, tough choice here
this choice has no effect on the conversation
: "What are you, stupid?"
: "Oh, come on. Why get mad at me?"
"sorry my life is so much more bitchin' than yours" alright, alright, no more now i promise
: "...Okay, suppose you win the war. Then what?"
: "W, Well, we will have peace, at least..."
: "Okay! Then, can I fight with you?"
Glad to have you aboard, Mr. Sheen. You might want to be careful while leaving this area, though: I have reason to believe there is a winged sex offender on the loose. I've killed most of the vagrants I've found, JUST TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE, but I'd still advise extreme caution.
With your help I'm sure we can lock the bastard up for good.
: "Alright! Let's win this war and bring peace to this land, so we can live together!"
I wouldn't go for it, Leia, I haven't heard good things.
: "What did you just say!? No!!"
Just a few more loose ends at this point. While doing some cleanup work, Dio found the DEX-boosting disposable item. We've almost completed the set at this point!
And with this final stronghold liberation it's time to look bosswards.
Huh. I'm impressed: this unit design is pretty much exactly the same as
Well let's go and inquire into why all those well-groomed, earnest, well-educated upstanding community members have been trying to kill us.
Uh, hi. We're new in town and I think we kind of got off on the wrong foot. I just love this community center, by the way. Are those sharpened wooden stakes? I LOVE sharpened wooden stakes!
: "...We're in luck. I didn't expect to find them here. Maybe it's not that bad of an idea to be up front. Well, why don't we take care of 'em before everybody shows up!!"
well-armed fundies inexplicably flooding an area otherwise only full of skeezy hobos, one of them talking about "everybody else" showing up soon
You guys are from Lodis, aren't you?!? I thought you were just harmless Jehovah's Witnesses or whatever! (by the way, will someone PLEASE tell those guys how to correctly spell "Yahweh")
Well we've got a situation now, bro, turns out killing you is not only fun but also my job. Let's do this.
whoa whoa WHOA let's cool it with the H-word, huh?
: "When the main force arrives, that'll be the end... of the Revolu...tionary... Army........."
Well this is certainly troubling. Didn't Destin like just get done telling me this wasn't happening? Someone needs to get fired. FAST.
The Ice Blade is right now the best sword we've got, one level above the Sum Mannus. Doesn't mesh well with Freddie's element, so it's going to Dio.
Well, we've just found out that Lodis is coming and everything is royally fucked. Time for an angsty introspective walk in the woods!
: "What... What am I supposed to..."
A Voice: "...It's been a while, Freddie."
What? WHO'S THERE? If it's that hawkman criminal, I warn you I am a well-oiled engine of death!
oh its you dad, nevermind
What do you mean "It's been a while," we fought like three weeks ago!
: "I heard that the Revolutionary Army is not willing to settle this matter peacefully... Is it possible for you to withdraw your troops? Nothing will be gained from this; I do not want any more bloodshed."
: "And what if we withdraw? What about the class system? The Central Division? ...The Lodis Empire? Sure, we can avoid this particular battle. But that's it! Nothing else will change!"
: "Nothing will change? Are you concerned with only the visible changes... the changes you can touch? Do not be misled by a narrow definition of revolution!"
WELL I can't exactly TOUCH the class system, duhhhh. Also I can think of two different reasons off the top of my head why we're all fucked really soon anyway.
: "...In nature, change takes place over a long period of time. Slowly, but surely. The same can be applied to our society. Radical changes create unwanted distortions... Haven't you realized that your way is, in fact, nothing but a temporary solution?"
In short: Ankiseth is England and Freddie is France. One path to reform was a little too slow, which resulted in England losing control over what would eventually become about a third of a pretty giant and awesome continent, but didn't end up too bad since they got started pretty early. The other was way too fast, resulting in this and this. In that context, Ankiseth kind of has a point.
: "Are you asking me to ignore the plight of those suffering as we speak!? However much you talk about ideals, you'll never reach the people unless you get in the thick of it with them. Father... You hold your ideals, but do absolutely nothing to achieve them."
I think this might be the only political debate in all of 1990s-era JRPG history that I can actually see both sides of. Part of why this game rules so hard.
: "...He who is in a higher position can become benevolent. Because he does not need to be concerned about his life, he can care for others. ...He can set aside his own feelings and fight for others. Yumil plans to make this kingdom a better place for all people... He is looking to reformation. He holds this as his duty as a member of the royal family, and I will help him every way possible."
The fatal flaw in this argument, of course, is that Yumil is (a) not the protagonist of this game, and (b) kind of a wimp.
: "...Freddie, can the Revolutionary Army lead Palatinus? What is the result of revolution? What do you see beyond the battles? Is Sir Frederick..."
Oh, FINALLY we start talking about calibers. Took long enough.
If you see this debate, and this question, as the central issue of this game (which sort of makes sense considering the game's subtitle), the Chaos Frame mechanic makes a little more sense. If they had managed to emphasize a little more that the unit leader's alignment determines how happy the people of a stronghold are to see you, but kept quiet about the effect this had on your ending so as not to pollute your decision, the way you play over the course of the entire game would be an evaluation of sorts of your fitness to lead, and (through that) whether the whole "violent revolution" deal is actually a good idea in the long run.
As it is, though, without the game giving you any sort of clue that whether your unit leader says "capture" or "liberate" has any relation to their alignment or the town's morale, it seems to be random flavor-text. If you read an FAQ to figure out what determines that, you by definition also know that you want to liberate a lot of Strongholds to get a good outcome, so you're definitely going to start metagaming and the experiment is ruined. The game doesn't give enough information, but the Internet gives too much.
: "...I don't know. But... Are you telling me that Yumil can do it!? ...Is he the one of such caliber?"
: "I can't be positive. ...But, I want to trust in him."
: "Father! ...Tell me before you go. Why did you accept being branded as a murderer? Why didn't you tell them the truth!? ......Why... Why did you leave my mother?"
DUN DUN DUNNNNNN
: "...You never change, Freddie. Why, you ask? Do you know whose orders the assassin was following? The person who plotted Yumil's death..."
We've got plot thickening all over the place up in here! This plot is approaching black-hole levels of density!
: "That's not possible...!"
: "...His Majesty was not well back then. The misfortunes that fell upon him, beginning with the queen's death... King Procus blamed it all on Yumil... The prince's peculiar features made His Majesty think even more so."
Anyone who has been thinking it was weird how Yumil is not at all blonde: you're not alone.
: "It is also told that he took counsel from a foreign sorcerer."
Saradin, right? I KNEW that guy was hiding something!
: "...It is true that I murdered a noble. And I decided not to say anything unnecessary. ...That's all..."
"as for your mother, she was a secret furry
i could only wear those fox ears for so long, son"
With that, the path to Wentinus opens. Mount Keryoleth appears to still be available, though! NEXT TIME: We don't go to either of those two places.