Part 38: UPDATE 33: Child of the CovenantFirst things first: new characters means new names!
PALADINS, FUCK YEAH
I was tempted to name Australia Oceania so as not to exclude the Pacific Islands, but then I decided not to take the characters-as-continents idea TOO far after all because that would cast Europe as the leader of the world, when CLEARLY that title belongs to America. CLEARLY. Has Captain Planet taught us nothing?
One of these references I got (Shale was the best golem I've ever downloaded, disappointing as his lack of romance option might have been) and the other one I had to look up. I really need to get around to reading Discworld, don't I? I just keep thinking of it like Flatland except hopefully less misogynist.
You kids and your animes! If I ever L&P myself another Angel Knight, I'm naming her Serra. I think being equally powerful in the front and back rows is OB64's equivalent of Vigilance after all.
Y'know what, Marty started off his career as a magic user. He's paid his ninja dues, let's give him another shot. Maybe this way we can see some hot three-way combo magic action with the rest of that back row!
Anyway, before we get started on today's mission, one last sidequesty-type thing I forgot to do last time. Biske gets a unique item too, which we can get because we totally have him and stuff.
Take him back to Capitrium and send him to the town of Surina for his unique scene. Have him go inside at night for some added comedy value!
"still, y'know, doing that wolf thing and stuff, but at least you're polite about it"
: "...Of course, anything is better than prison."
: "My body is free, but my mind is still in chains... Sister, can you tell me why I'm different from others? Why me...? Sister... aren't you afraid of me?"
oh god this just gets twilightier and twilightier
PLEASE JUST STOP.
: "Are you still frightened by your own strength? Appearance is unimportant. ...Does that make you different? Nobody in Capitrium thinks you're a devil. Everyone remembers when you courageously fought the Central Division."
"and then got totally owned by that awesome indigan dude whose son I now see you are working for, so, y'know, making progress."
Increasingly wishing I'd put Biske in Ankiseth's unit.
: "Archbishop Odiron asked me to give you this... It enhances its owner's power. Please, keep this secret."
I GOT A SCREENSHOT AND NOW EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET CAN SEE YOUR... lightning suit. Why are we keeping this secret again?
The Jeulnelune is pretty okay. Slightly better armor rating than either Paladin or Cataphract armor, apparently; gives a decent DEX boost but not enough to actually make Biske hit any harder.
Anyway, we've left Lodis alone with the Temple of Berthe for like eight months or something, they've GOT to have been up to some sort of mischief with it by now. Let's go fix it.
Update 33: Child of the Covenant
That's Amrius, right? I'm pretty sure this is in reference to Amrius.
We open to a scene of Pruflas stalking purposefully into... this scene from like two missions ago. You'd think they'd have cleaned up the corpses by now. I guess they were preserving the crime scene for Pruflas, who is now the Caliginous Order's resident CSI or something.
: "What happened here? ...Where is he!? Answer me, now!!"
: "I'm terribly sorry, sir. When I arrived, he was already..."
: "Enough excuses!! Go find him... now!"
: "You? ......You... You know something... don't you?"
Well, that about wraps up all THIS scene's loose ends! Let's see what Freddie and Hugo are up to!
We are dumped unceremoniously at the Hugo Room.
: "Let's get started..."
Hugo knows instinctively when there's been enough storyline that he has to just get to business. It's one of the few senses he has that's still sharp.
: "Our goal is to retake the temple from Lodis."
Yeah I guess Odiron gave us a map with the temple's precise coordinates or something. Sure. Anyway this is mission is as Indiana Jonesy as this game gets, so take off your tweed jacket and bow tie, grab your hat, and get ready to get out of the library!
: "They also spotted air units around the Temple of Berthe. This will make it difficult to reach the temple. But, we can't let that stop us."
: "They'll do anything to keep us at bay. Be careful."
That was IT? Man if we've already exhausted LODIS, the Central Region must have like four guys in its army. This BETTER be the last mission in the game, Hugo, or I swear to God I will call bullshit on you SO HARD.
I'LL DO IT, I'M NOT FUCKING AROUND HERE
From here on out, I'm going to have to be a lot more selective (read: arbitrary) when deciding which units to dispatch. The only ones really guaranteed work are Asnabel (for low-morale towns) and Sheen (for scouting). This time I've got some monsters to force to evolve, so that's a factor.
See this? We can see like two thirds of the map from HQ. That's how useful Sheen is.
Leading the pack is Vector, who's had to look pretty hard for alternate employment since the Chaotix broke up. Well, time for me to sit here and let him come to
Yeah, I guess Vector and his Raven pal are devoting all their time to patrolling those mountains. Vector isn't carrying any fatigue-reducing items. Hey, I guess Lodis knows best, right?
Let's focus on Cynthia here. Now, I'm not sure I believe Hugo when he says the Caliginous Order is short on manpower -- remember that this is an extremely important strategic site, as the home of the legendary ultimate power. These will probably be crack veteran troops.
Maybe Hugo was on to something. Boudica, behold your first assignment!
One dead Sorceress later, Ozzie embraces his true destiny. TWD does not. HURRY IT UP
Swooping down from the North is Abel, giving me the perfect opportunity to take my new Werewolf out for a spin.
You definitely want to get your money's worth out of Biske at night. During the daytime he's no slouch, but at night he is a pure force of nature. He finished off that Wyrm basically by himself AND got the KO on Abel. He's much faster than either Asnabel or Swift but (ironically???) that's not exactly difficult. Also he keeps putting stuff he hits to sleep but I can't show it off if they're all dead.
Hot on the heels of Abel is Jo Ann the Siren. Anyone with that many first names is just asking to get Dragooned.
Tyton does good, even if the AI's back row getting its two turns RIGHT IN A ROW (which was TOTAL BULLSHIT) killed Bluemage before I could take care of Jo Ann. Which TOTALLY RUINED the Dragoon premiere. Sigh. Well, that'll put his unit on the backburner until I can get him to a Witch Den. I'm not wasting an Altar of Resurrection on this rabble.
Okay, yeah, this was bullshit too. Let's talk about that Sword Master creeping on me on the right.
Know what I'm thinking about a unit full of frontliners right now? I'm thinking I'm gonna hit them with a triple Drakonite assault. Your time to shine, Tallgeese. Let's see if that peddler gave me my money's worth!
Okay, yeah. These are meteors, and they are striking. So yeah, points for accurate naming, and also for teleporting my unit away before that second one could hit them. Still missing a certain razzle-dazzle.
THERE we go.
As you can see, a Drakonite spell is basically equivalent to a little less than two Venerable Dragon attacks (give or take), without the status effects. Geese gets three of them where a Dragon would get two, while taking up half the headcount a dragon would. Drakonite books break this game more than anything else. Well. Anything we've gotten SO far.
Hm. One of them survived, did he? Okay, send in the hounds.
In most of my playthroughs, I have a Beast unit the entire game. Having not had one up until this point, I'd almost forgotten how much I'd missed having someone say they were itching for action all the time.
Who's a good boy? WHO'S A GOOD BOY? Is it you? YES IT IS
Cucka finds a second Feather Suit and reminds me further of why I love Beast Masters so much, in order.
I finally get a chance to take on Vector, and Mary Jane... well, you'll just kind of have to trust me that he really did get petrified there. The timing on this screenshot wasn't really my best.
Oh hey, more bullshit! The defeated Vector JUST HAPPENED to retreat all the way to a sideways-facing Sheen, whom he proceeded to attack while facing forward for some reason! Sure! Luckily Sheen's recently angel-augmented unit is good enough to wipe his punk ass out regardless.
This spear has pretty good attack power, but suffers from having no elemental affiliation and from being completely unpronounceable. And from getting "Kodachrome" stuck in my head whenever I fucking see it.
Vector's mountain-patrol buddy, Debitt, has a Cockatrice with him. Better send in my Golem unit just in case anything
....and he's sideways, isn't he? This is bad. This is
I really have no idea how so much of this map is turning into such a clusterfuck, I swear to God.
Yeah Debitt's dead now, let's just cut our losses.
I KNOW, RIGHT?
This seems like as good a time as any to peruse my headquarters' convenient shopping center. Naturally I was most interested in its selection of Revive Stones.
This is also where you can buy Frozen Axes. I think 2 is more than I need at this point, what with Alita favoring pokeyswords.
C'mon, you rascal, on your feet.
I was so distracted by this whole petrification business that I almost missed Sheen getting in a fight with whats-his-face the corpse over here. Here's an after-the-fact screenshot showing where it took place.
Fillow's kind of late to the party, although with such a Faerie-centric unit I can't say I blame him for not being anxious to attack me.
Hesitant in life, forever immobilized in death. It's like a metaphor or some shit.
Over in the east, Meredia has a run-in with Otto, who has the kind of unit I'd expect to see out of Lodis. God knows where they got the rest of those bums.
This is decidedly not three-way combo magic, but it gets the job done, particularly with Otto sitting on that middle spot there.
As soon as Meredia took this Stronghold, Chan sprung up out of hiding to deliver an ambush! Unfortunately for him his hiding spot was on the other side of that mountain and hiking over to Kud Im Kalle is gonna take him a while.
MEANWHILE IN THE NORTH
Sheen cleared off this stronghold while I wasn't looking earlier, but the northern offensive still had to wait until Cucka could get there to liberate the place. Asnabel is busy failing to chase down flying units.
Aw yeah, 1 damage. THIS is why I like Baldr Golems.
BACK IN THE SOUTH
Chan finally schleps over the mountains and is greeted with another dose of what is irritatingly not three-way combo magic. Not the combination I'd expect either. Well, here's what the tier 2 Wind/Fire combo looks like.
So yeah, I figured out why Ninja Masters aren't usually used for three-way combos despite being competent at both tanking and casting. It's because the element they attack with is extremely unpredictable from turn to turn and rarely matches up correctly with the other two casters.
Let's discuss the Earthquake. All you've seen of it before is Sheen hovering over it without a care. Used against groundbound enemies, it swirls them around a little bit...
...before dealing damage (admittedly light damage, particularly since they're all in corner spots) and hitting every target with a GUARANTEED POWER DOWN. Remember, Power Down is better than Poison because IT STACKS.
Yet another battle ends with TheWhitDrgn continuing to chillax in the Platinum Dragon state rather than hurrying along to Bahamut status. I don't have all day!
THERE we go. All Large characters are fully upgraded!
The northwest area of this map is kind of lightly inhabited. Makes it that much easier for Guy to steamroll through and take all the (Neutral-morale) strongholds!
Despite the encroachment of Asnabel, who you can see getting all up in Templar personal space, the AI decides to devote ANOTHER unit to trying to knock Meredia off this random-ass stronghold in the least important corner of the map. I continue to be unimpressed.
No, Marty, we're trying to ALL work together, okay? Stop leaving Rose out of playtime.
I guess it gets the job done...
No. NO. That's not how we play, Marty. BAD. I'm calling your mother.
Well meanwhile, here's another combo I'm pretty sure I never showed off. Lava Flow is the tier-2 Fire/Earth combo and involves a small volcano.
Marty, I'm putting you in timeout. Sit up there in the (front) corner until you're ready to do as you're told!
While this was all going on, I was trying to use Asnabel to lure Gordon off his stronghold by standing uncomfortably close to him...
...but all I managed to succeed in doing was attract the attention of Oscar, a very traditional-minded Templar.
I took the opportunity to teach him a valuable lesson about diversity!
Gordon died, like, REALLY fast. Having already suffered from one dead mage, I didn't play out the whole battle here, to avoid wear and tear on this set from the row of Dianas. Can't be too careful.
Up in the Northwest, Guy is just having a field day. The Zephyros isn't QUITE as good as the Culrnichronre or whatever, but it IS Wind-element. I think I have more Bloodstained Robes than robe-wearers now.
Man, Asnabel is just not making any friends.
Somewhere along the way he found this hip '90s headgear. Okay seriously though this thing would be AWESOME to have in the summer.
Guy is taking care of the north for me. This Vultan unit had been running away from me for so long I actually had no idea it still had a leader. I guess he was just cowardly? (for good reason)
Here we go, initiating final assault. Cucka is seeing a lot of use liberating stuff for me because he's Chaotic but not TOO Chaotic. Asnabel's gonna need some Scroll of Discipline training soon.
shut up shut up shut up
Two units remain to defy me. One is Mister Dragon-Happy here.
The other is Ryu, who's spending most of his time hanging out in the Temple trying to deny that Dianas exist.
man why does katreda even HAVE a front row
I'm really disappointed this didn't get dropped by Ryu.
Well, I'm apparently 135 screenshots in, so let's hurry this up. Our boss today is Pruflas, but you probably already knew that because he was in the intro cutscene.
Before I can fight him I have to fight Ryu, who (judging by his formation) had been knocking repeatedly on the temple door trying to get Pruflas to let him into the No Cataphracts Allowed Club. Here's another elemental combo I was not expecting to show off!
Atmosphere is basically a Giant Disco Ball Attack. Not exactly sure how this is meant to hurt anyone but I am not complaining.
Now that these assholes are gone we can get on with the plot! Without further ado...
We open on the Temple of Berthe to find a Templar hurrying up toward Pruflas, who is loitering around in a charming little indoor Stonehenge. Berthe is, among other things, the goddess of interior decoration.
: "Don't disturb me! Take care of them yourself!"
Well okay then!
I mean, that guy CLEARLY isn't going to take care of me himself, I've seen the boss unit and you're in charge of it clear as day, but I guess yelling at guys without names is in your job description and stuff.
He would have gotten away with it, too, if etc etc etc
: "No one can squeeze such power from the fruit of the netherworld. ......Forget the prince! I can break the seal myself..."
He waves his sword around a little bit.
Berthe is not impressed.
One momentary fadeout later, it appears to be go-time.
: "Shut up!! ...That's it. You will all be sacrificial lambs!!"
Yeah Pruflas clearly has no idea what the Palatinean national god wants out of him if he thinks killing some Palatineans inside her holy structure will earn him any brownie points.
He did at least bring along an appropriately Earth-themed sword, though. Festive!
His front row hits decently hard and pretty often, and he'll guard you a lot, but at the end of the day he's alone in the middle column and by now you can take him.
YAY HE'S DYING
Never thought I'd say this in the context of a JRPG, but hooray for ellipses!
Our reward is Pruffy's sword, the Adamant Katana. Despite resembling a katana pretty much the absolute least out of like any sword we have, this thing is a decent Earth-element weapon. I tend to give it to Europea due to its religious connotations, but this playthrough she's staying all Virtue.
Well hey, meddling-kid party at the Temple.
: "Hey Freddie, we're sending the troops home."
you are of course aware we haven't, like, won the war yet
: "We didn't find anything here... So it was only a legend?"
: "Not only the Central Division, but Lodis as well? They believed the legend and tried to get the ultimate power? Archbishop Odiron, too... What a wild goose chase..."
: "...Come on, Freddie. Let's go. We can't waste time thinking about the past. We have to decide what to do now... for our future."
That seems like as good a note as any to end on, so the Youth and Beauty Brigade here starts to file out.
But wait! Freddie casts back one final glance...
...and finds Yumil. Yup, turns out that earlier when he made his big dramatic escape earlier he was just loitering around this building some more and they couldn't find him because he's like really sneaky or something.
Chekhov's Legendary Sword makes an appearance.
yeah turns out Pruflas was just barking up the wrong tree earlier with his "wave your sword around" approach. No, what you need to appease THESE hungry ancient gods is a blood sacrifice.
The floor gets blown right the fuck out from under Yumil. Recall that Virtue is represented by light blue and Bane by royal purple. I'm seeing a little of each here.
He floats into the air and is shortly flanked by... uh... some guys. I think? They're certainly taller than he is.
In a second, he disappears completely.
His new entourage follows shortly.
Yeah Freddie was watching that whole exchange. Gonna be hard to explain this one to the others!
(Note the shadow Freddie casts on the ground. Nice attention to detail for a sprite-based game on the N64.)
this ain't good
yeah the vortex thing is now pretty exclusively purple
oh shit, demons!
I don't even know WHAT that thing is! This is THE WORST LEGENDARY POWER EVER.
At some point Dio realized that (a) Freddie wasn't following him and (b) the distinct sounds of demonic summoning rituals were emanating from the henge area and ran back in. Well thank GOD, no one was gonna believe this without a witness.
: "Leave me alone, Dio!! Yumil... I have to help Yumil!"
: "What are you saying!? We gotta go, now!"
While this is all happening, the demons have been surprisingly laid-back, but there are more and more of them appearing with every line. Yeah this is bad.
And with that... we're back on the World Map!?!? The Temple of Berthe is still our active location, and we can't move off of it, but we get a slight breather here. We're certainly not done at the Temple of Berthe, though. NEXT TIME: Cliffhangers are resolved!