Part 35: UPDATE 30: The Bearer of Knowledge
Another thing I noticed: if you want to liven up the game, you can enforce the rule that you drink every time there's more than one ellipsis in a single text box.
Boy do I have a treat THIS update for anyone playing this game.
First things first: I'm gonna do something I have no idea why I never thought of before this playthrough.
I'd idly mentioned that Europea's unit is good as an anti-undead deterrent, but of course the problem is her back row is made up of Freyas, who cannot deal Virtue damage and aren't particularly good at magic. The obvious solution is to turn Eileen and... Butterfly... into Dianas, which not only deal a lot of back-row damage but deal Virtue damage by default due their fancy holy bows! Europea's unit now dishes out a total of 14 Virtue-element attacks per combat!
(You guys may be interested to know that Europea's Paladins are named Spencer and Rhatt.)
Next up, he may be insanely lawful, but Dio's still the only guy I have crazy enough to use something called the Evil Blade.
I remembered at this point that although the Glamdring isn't particularly good, it's a Fire-element sword that is both stronger and cooler-looking than Rhade's cheap POS. I fulfill Freddie's Harry Potter fantasies and give him the wizard sword.
This leaves me with a whole bunch of Sum Mannuses and Ice Blades to distribute as I see fit. In the interest of full disclosure, here they are.
Finally, I apparently have only one Freya this playthrough after that little stunt I pulled with Europea's crowd, which makes the decision of who gets these bucklers pretty damn easy.
Now then, we've been sort of building up to an inevitable attack on Celesis for quite some time now. Let's get it over with!
UPDATE 30: The Bearer of Knowledge
Uhhh that's kind of where we are so I don't see how this title card is necessary, but thanks for clarifying!
We open to find two Blond Assholes (TM) conversing in a cathedral. One of them appears to be our fratty friend Prince Amrius; the other one looks suspiciously like Godeslas but I'm pretty sure it's Kerikov.
: "Those bastards from the Revolutionary Army will be here any minute. ...Tell me! Where's the Temple of Berthe!? I know you found it! ...Where is the ultimate power!?"
A few loose threads hinted at earlier appear to be coming together now!
: "Yes, I succeeded in extracting the information, but..."
Well lookie who grew some balls! Maybe. The portrait makes it kind of hard to tell.
: "What!? If not for me, you'd still be pathetic noble swine!"
As opposed to now, when he's... pathetic noble swine with a title he didn't earn for a job he can't perform. Yeah, he owes you BIG.
Voice: "Show him the proper gratitude, Kerikov."
Okay, THIS one's gonna be Baldwin, right?
Eh. Close enough.
: "...What brings a knight of the Caliginous Order here?"
See, the thing about being a pawn in this context is that sometimes you can just straight-up switch who your king is.
Kind of interesting that Lodis is getting so invested in Palatinean mythology, first with doing whatever it was they were doing with Yumil, the scion of the Progenitor, and now trying to find the long-lost Temple of Berthe with its Ultimate Power or whatever. It's all very Nazis-from-Indiana-Jones.
: "We have been aware of your pathetic scheme. Trying to outwit us, Prince Amrius? I admire your courage."
: "The ultimate power will be ours. It was a nice try, though. Kerikov! ...Take care of the rest."
Kerikov does this funny little prance-run thing to catch up to Pruflas as he leaves.
: "P, Please wait, Sir Pruflas! What am I supposed to..."
: "Isn't the Revolutionary Army heading this way? Stop them. ...If you can't, just keep them busy as long as you can."
I also like how Lodis is pretty much just using us to tie up loose ends for them. They're fully aware of how badass we are -- Pruflas found out personally, if you'll recall.
: "...Th, That's suicide! After all I did for you!?"
Yeah, he knows it too.
: "Did you think we would treat you any better? ...How could you be so foolish? We can't waste precious time on incompetent fools like you."
so yeah Kerikov is Lando and Pruflas is Vader
Cut to the Hugo Room, where Europea is still story-relevant enough to have her own seat at my table.
: "It seems as if the Central Division is not here to prevent us from making contact with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Rather, they're after some 'ultimate power'..."
Oh, the common folk and their silly superstitions. Let them cling to their guns and religion.
: "Ultimate power...? ...Do you know anything about it?"
Freddie is the Player Avatar, which is pretty much license for him to be absolutely clueless about everything. It doesn't really make sense a lot of the time. I mean, I guess this might be some state secret or something, but I'd have thought he would have heard of it in polytheist Sunday school or some crap.
Europea, of course, is well-versed.
: "The tremendous power that the Progenitor attained when he was blessed by Berthe... I only know that it is mentioned a few times in legend. ...Oh, I did hear that it was originally the duty of the Berthan Sentinels to guard the ultimate power."
They didn't train you much for this job, did they?
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good Pumpkinhead at your side, kid.
: "I don't know. Is it merely a legend...? Or does it really exist? Only the archbishop knows the truth."
If he knows, why did Amrius go to the trouble of arranging for Kerikov to take his place instead of... y'know... asking politely? That's Amrius's problem. He's kind of dumb.
: "The king and the Central Division should've known of it. Why did they wait until now?"
: "It is said that the Progenitor, terrified of the awesomeness of the power he gained, sealed it within the Temple of Berthe and concealed its location from others. They must have been afraid of tampering with the power that even the legendary king abandoned."
oh, you again
didn't I fire you like three times already?
: "Lodis? ...Not the Central Division?"
: ".........!! ......To the south...!?"
I almost cut some of that punctuation out but then I came to my fucking senses and typed all of it the hell in.
: "What's wrong, Europea? ...Is the Temple of Berthe...?"
: "...I honestly don't know. But from what I've heard, the temple is located south of here, somewhere in the Tremos Mountains."
Huh. Get right out of town! Did you know I was considering going there earlier? Yeah, turns out you've got quite a fanbase, though.
: "I'm sure they learned something new. We must hurry and liberate Celesis... and rescue Odiron."
: "...You are right. Now, here's the plan. Let's get started..."
: "We must liberate Celesis, and rescue Archbishop Odiron."
Yup. Those are the exact words I said thirty seconds ago. Thanks for refreshing me.
: "We can save time by heading straight east, but... We should be careful choosing a path. We've received word that the route east has been booby-trapped."
Oh no! I'd better be SUPER careful, then. Someone could get hurt!
you COULD have spent more than four sentences briefing me on it, then, just a suggestion
Nope, too much to ask!
So yeah, fun fact:
I mentioned in passing last update that the game will max out at ten friendly units per map. We have been exactly at this limit since recruiting Ankiseth; Europea just now put us over the top (part of my ulterior motive for wanting to take Paul instead).
This time Dio is going to be sitting out, as the guy with the highest levels all around. By the time we're done we're gonna have like 15 units or something.
Kind of a half-assed HQ attack to start this one off -- Suzie here is abandoning her guard post to make absolutely sure her berserkers get to wave their little axes at me as soon as possible.
One fight in and she wants to back out?
C'mon, stay a while! You just got here!
Oh hey look, another one. C'mon up, stranger, more the merrier!
Oh, so you're into healing, huh? Seems to be a pretty popular profession around these parts! Give me just one second, would you?
See, myself I'm more of a bringer of death and carnage. Isn't that right, Suzie?
Whoa! Neat trick there! If I'd gotten a chance to do any actual damage to you before you'd done it, my face would be mighty red right about now!
All I can do is this thing, but, y'know, it pays the bills! You have yourself a great day now, Gauche, you hear?
What friendly locals!
Anyway, the Kusanagi is basically a Virtue-element Glaive of Champion. Which is to say a better Glaive of Champion. We've got bigger fish to fry on this map. You'll see.
(don't listen to him, there's nothing here worth buying)
This is the place where Hugo said there would be booby-traps, right? Man I don't wanna have to deal with a huge ambush. I'll just send Sheen in to act as a scout and have him haul ass back to everyone else as soon as something happens.
Hm yes that's nice but I don't think it really counts as a "booby trap" per se, dangerous as it may be to one character's psyche when used on them twenty times. Let's keep looking.
Meanwhile Pinneg goes down without a fight. It's quiet. TOO quiet.
Okay, guys! Here I am right outside this mountain pass! Feel free to booby-trap me or whatever!
While I'm waiting for those traps, the southern group takes another stronghold uncontested. This would be less ominous if they'd at least get to fight someone.
Uhh okay so here I am smack dab in the middle of the goddamn pass and I notice nobody's even rolling boulders down on me or anything! I can literally see all the soldiers on the other side and they don't seem to care that I'm here!
HEY ASSHOLES. COME AMBUSH ME OR SOMETHING.
YEAGER YOU'RE NOT EVEN DOING ANYTHING YOU'RE JUST STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD YOU LAZY FUCKER
HOW ABOUT YOU GUYS, YOU GAME?
I'VE FOUGHT DEMONS BEFORE AND IT WAS EASY, I BET I COULD TAKE ANGELS TOO IF I HAD TO
Sort of the inverse of a zombie. If someone's dead at the end of a mission and they are (a) female and (b) very lucky (in terms of both random chance and the hidden Luck stat), they could very well turn into an Angel Knight. If you have all the necessary equipment. More on that later. It should be noted that they aren't actually better than Ravens/Vultans in terms of stat growth, but they're good as sources of Virtue damage. And a huge pain in the ass to get yourself. More on that later.
Meanwhile, the Southern party actually encounters resistance for once.
Resistance is fun! Back to the mountain-pass group.
Alright, guys! Here we are, taking the shortcut to your important castle! We killed the guy you put here and took his town! Big dangerous development happening here!
Anybody wanna fight me? ...No?
WHY NOT <>
So yeah it turns out Hugo was pretty much just talking out of his ass about booby-traps here. Two of these enemy units -- the one with the Angel Knights and the one loitering on the road -- won't spawn if you don't go through here, but they don't even attack you. Lame. If you don't particularly feel like experiencing any gameplay you can pretty much skip this entire level by cutting through this pass and going around that non-moving legion to the northeast. If you want to fight anyone here you'll have to initiate it yourself.
In the back row, Angel Knights get the Banish attack.
It's pretty decent as (a) a back-row attack performed by a frontliner character and (b) a ranged Virtue attack, of which your choices are basically this, a Diana with the base weapon, or a Faerie. Jury's still out on whether it's necessarily worth going to all the trouble getting an Angel Knight necessitates (more on that later)
I'm trying to decide whether I should feel guilty about this.
Wait, what? ...really? I LOST that battle? Okay sure whatever game.
Anyway, due to the large time investment and amount of uncertainty involved in getting Angel Knights (more on that later), they are one of three very popular targets for Love And Peace -- the others being Black Knights (for Valiant Mantles) and certain demon units . This is as good a time as any to show off the Love and Peace. Basically you use one of these things on a unit that you've already fought at least once and each character therein that is still alive has a chance of defecting and joining your army.
See the thing is it's not a BIG chance, though. You don't get very many Love And Peaces and there is a very decent chance you could use them all up and get bupkis.
However, I decided to prevent myself from suffering this fate, in the name of
Oh, also I found this greatsword upon killing off an enemy unit. It's Water-element and the same power as the Kusanagi and the Glaive of Champion. No Yu-Giri, but it's okay.
Man there sure are a lot of Priests here. I WONDER WHY.
Also a lot of poorly-designed units!
I sent Sheen down to this area looking for ground treasure. This is nice, but it's not quite what I was looking for...
Ah, HERE it is. The second-strongest greatsword in the game. Holy-element. A pretty fucking nice find.
While chasing angels, Katreda got pretty close to this Cataphract unit. Better get his formation shot now because I'm getting the feeling he's the territorial sort!
BET YOU WISH YOU'D JOINED ME NOW, HUH BITCH
As a reward for slaughtering holy creatures, I get one of their feathers! This thing is a mage accessory, like the Ring of Eloquence but a little better and without the strength debuff. Plus it gives some Bane protection.
Oh, uh, and Sheen found another one over here too.
You just couldn't leave well enough alone, could you Carlson?
...You're kidding. It's just not Katreda's day!
Well, you guys enjoy your victory up in those freezing-cold mountains, Katreda will just have to cope with her crushing defeat in front of the roaring fire in the house you used to live in.
Anyway, it's about time to direct my attentions toward this mid-sized Legion. The Wyvern is a nice touch, but that's still not a GOOD unit or anything.
Okay, uh, maybe a little bit carried away with the healing here, but points for Angels.
This is it. The worst unit in the game, to date, here near the end of Chapter 3.
Ugh. Just do it, Europea. I can't watch. I'm a terrible person.
While on her way north to commit a horrible atrocity, Europea attracted the attention of this Enchanter named Gerald.
Uh GERALD do you MIND HERE I'm KIND of BUSY
Oh no look out Europea! They'll heal themselves at you!!!
Unfortunately for Sheila, even a unit full of Clerics can't heal death.
Oh, Sheen found one of these things. It's a disposable item that will boost the Unity of a unit by a little bit. Useful if you like shifting stuff around a lot.
Pictured: Shirley loses the last of her offensive potential to an electrical storm; because she is not the leader of her Legion she must trudge unwillingly back to her spot where Asnabel is just standing there waiting to finish her off.
This is even more tragic than killing Sheila was.
Albert, you're a bad person and a worse leader. Go hide in your HQ behind a guy even more cowardly than you.
Speaking specifically of Kerikov! Apparently he has the same class as Godeslas, meaning he'll cast some type of high-level magic from that row. It probably won't be the evil kind, though, I don't think he had the firey purples.
Pictured above is his facial expression upon being told he had to fight me.
(first the Matsukaze is a Wind-element greatsword roughly equivalent to those two other ones I found that are not the Chaladholg)
ANYWAY MOVING ON
Huh. Guess Amrius is still around. Those Angel Knights up there in the back are new, though.
: "Squeeze them for all they're worth, and toss them aside when they're spent... How pathetic, Kerikov. I admit that I've been used too, but you're nothing but a scapegoat."
I don't think that's what that word means...
: "...I'll never betray you again. Prince Amrius...! Please help me. Please have mercy......"
: "First Lodis, and now me? Where's your loyalty!? Go lick some Revolutionary Army boot, knave!"
: "What happened to my plans? ...No. Everything was going fine until I framed those Berthan Sentinels... and ejected Odiron!"
no i'd say everything was actually going fine until you decided to sell out your home country by kissing up to pruflas, just sayin
Enter the peanut brigade.
: "General Kerikov!! The Revolutionary Army is approaching!"
: "Damn them!! If not for them, this would never have happened!!!"
well LOOK who's all BLAMEY today
Rather than combo magic, Kerikov's back-row attack is the tier-2 solo water spell. It is slightly more threatening than Godeslas's Infest, but not really by a whole lot.
Ankiseth could kill this guy right now if I wanted him to, but no. I think I'll save that task for someone else.
That's more like it.
: "D, Damn you!! Europea! I can't believe you have the guts to show your face around here, after conspiring with Odiron and letting the evil possess that Sentinel..."
: "Sir Kerikov, let me ask you this. I heard you were the one who conjured the devil, and blamed Archbishop Odiron and the Berthan Sentinels... Is that true?"
: "What!? I have no idea what you're talking about."
I'm not really sure what the point is in continuing the charade here.
"haha what you heard what??? where did you hear THAT??? how silly anyway let's get back to trying to kill each other"
: "Kerikov! Where is Archbishop Odiron!? This is your handiwork, is it not!? How dare you spit at god with your evil deeds!!"
"God": Used as a proper noun; uncapitalized. Once again, just a Europea thing as far as I can tell. Curiouser and curiouser.
: "How should I know? Besides, it's ancient history now. Well, I guess this is the end of the evil Berthan Sentinels."
dude, you're a VANITY
Even a Centurion's got one up on you
Case in point.
Infuriatingly, rather than a cool-looking rapier our reward today is a Thunder Chain, the Air-flavored light armor. Borrriiiiing.
So this song I keep linking is called The Fatty Rat and it's pretty much Kerikov's theme song. It shows up in a few other places, but really both the song and the name fit this guy just so goddamn well.
: "It was you who plotted against Archbishop Odiron and the Berthan Sentinels?"
Kerikov flinching when Freddie yells at him is up there with Ariosh flailing his arms wildly in comedy level
: "Y, Yes. It was me. I used the power of the netherworld. He told me that the Eastern Orthodox Church would be mine if I... I, I didn't know! I had no idea it would turn out like this! I did what Prince Amrius ordered me to... "
Hey remember when Godeslas was the most pathetic thing we'd seen in this entire game? Weren't those some happy times?
: "O, Oh yeah!! I'll tell you what Lodis is planning! The ultimate power! They're headed for the Temple of Berthe to get the ultimate power. The Central Division was trying to do the same thing, but Lodis found out and they got screwed."
Notice: "Lodis found out and they got screwed." Not "I decided to suck up to Pruflas and sold my king and country out for basically nothing in the end." Carefully chosen words.
: "Come on, that's enough, right? ...Oh, please say so. Please? I don't wanna die..."
well it's hard to say, that WAS a whole bunch of information I already had
how long has a venerable man been standing just offscreen and eavesdropping on us?
Odiron, you creeper <>
(note Kerikov discreetly crawling away)
Europea dashes over to him excitedly. Freddie follows suit. Kerikov kind of tiptoes away. No one notices or cares.
: "It's good to see you again, Europea. ...But there is no time to waste. Head south immediately, and stop them from entering the Temple of Berthe."
So how come Kerikov's entourage included a couple of Angel Knights and Odiron's stuck with those puny mortal nuns? Answer me THAT one, Berthe apologists.
: "...The ultimate power is more than just myth?"
YES, we've been OVER that Freddie, TRY to keep UP
it's like he doesn't know what kind of game he's in
: "...Who are you?"
C'mon man! It's me! Like the most important person in the country these days! ...You inexplicably gave me an elem pedra like two years ago? No? Not ringing any bells?
: "I am Freddie, member of the Revolutionary Army and the leader of the Generic Army. I was notified of the situation within the Eastern Orthodox Church. ...Please tell me. Does the ultimate power, the power that the Progenitor acquired, exist?"
Not really sure why everyone keeps talking about "power" like it's a physical object, but whatev.
: "Please tell us! They are trustworthy."
: "...I remember now. You are the son of Ankiseth. I have no choice... The ultimate power... exists. Not only the Progenitor, but the ancient king whom Berthe loved... and the Knights of Danika... They all possessed the ultimate power. Because of the immensity of the power... it was dismissed as legend and the truth was hidden."
Yeah uh I might have to do a Hugo Report dump at some point to define all these terms.
: "But only the Child of the Covenant... the one who made a pact with god before his day of birth... is entitled to the power. Is it Prince Amrius? Is he the Child of the Covenant...?"
Now, let's just stop for a bit and think a little bit about certain cutscenes we've seen.
: "The ultimate power does exist... We have to stop Lodis. It's too dangerous... We have to protect it from Lodis!"
: "They saved my life... I am indebted to them. ...Odiron, please forgive me for going with them."
: "...I understand. You must follow your path. Your stars have shown a life devoted to fighting for change. Go, Europea, and find what lies ahead of you."
Really? ASTROLOGY? Really, Odiron?
Hey remember that time when we went to the Tremos Mountains and then we almost went to the Tremos Mountains? Well we're going to the Tremos Mountains. Stay tuned!