Part 41: UPDATE 36: The March to LatiumFor the curious: The current runtime listed on my official save file is 38 hours and 42 minutes. There are four chapters of approximately equal length; we're through three of them. So we're looking at a probable total runtime of about 52 hours, but keep in mind also that this is something like my fifth playthrough. It may or may not take others on their first or second run through the game more time than that.
Anyway, without any further ado -- since last update was pretty much ado exclusively -- we've got to retake Gules Hills to bust our way into the Central Region so we can finish this.
Update 36: The March to Latium
: "Let's get started..."
Yeah, I guess Hugo agrees with me that at this point there isn't really a whole lot of text left to dump. We'll just have to wait for stuff to start happening.
: "Our purpose is to take the castle."
Same map as we saw last time through; they did have the foresight to at least switch the HQ locations. I'm not sure why we're starting from the northeast considering we came here from Alba, though. Maybe we were initially supposed to be starting the chapter at Celesis or something?
: "...Be careful out there."
TRANSLATION: There is an obvious short path to the enemy HQ. There is an ambush there. That's about all we get, but by now it's honestly enough.
: "We all know it's propaganda... but the Brigade of Radiant Cross believes it."
"those of them that aren't possessed by demons, that is, but they don't really need propaganda at this point"
: "We have to be careful."
I KNOW, JEEZ, you TOLD ME THAT ALREADY
You're NOT my MOTHER, HUGO
New mission music this time, and one of my favorite tracks in the game! It's a holdover from pretty much every previous Ogre Battle game, but I think it's at its best here.
Oh wait, one final bit of ado I forgot about until after starting the mission.
I'm going to take Penthesilea, Dio's old archer from before Liedel joined up, make her into a Cleric, and give her Katreda's heirloom.
Then I'm going to place her into this weak-ass unit toward the purpose of getting her fucking killed. I've already told you guys where Angel Knights come from (when a dead lawful lady and the hidden Luck stat love each other very, very much); I guess it's not too spoilery for me to just spill it here that I'm trying to make one myself. It requires me to kill someone and leave them dead for however long a time it takes. Hopefully not TOO long.
And along come some Knights Templar to help me out with that! Let's see what we got.
Reinhart, in the front, and Vincent, in the back, are a little too back-row-damage-happy to serve this purpose. Let's get them out of the way.
With Reinhart sitting on that middle-center spot he was just ASKING to get Earthquaked to death. Easy.
As you can see from the above figures (a) and (b), Liches are particularly susceptible to Virtue damage, and Vincent is particularly susceptible to getting stabbed in the face with big claws.
Now then, the third Templar, Lambert, should help us kill ourselves a Cleric.
stop healing yourself you jerk <>
I KNEW I should have made you a Sorceress
THERE we go. The entire rest of this unit almost got wiped out first for some reason. They're all underleveled as hell; that might have something to do with it.
Now then, not having duped them, I only had 4 Goblets of Destiny on hand. I used three of them to boost Penthesilea's hidden Luck stat. When you use a Goblet, you have about an equal chance of raising a character's Luck, lowering it, or doing absolutely nothing. Which, quite frankly, sucks. I unabashedly savescummed this. Hopefully that's enough to at least keep her from turning Zombie on me.
Oh yeah, this happened too. Before he even got a single attack on Sheen. I'm pleased with how far Sheen has come, but he could still use another Angel or two.
After long periods of time not having ANY elemental greatswords, I am now ass deep in them. I'm not complaining!
Anyway, time to think about maybe getting off my HQ. I've taken Leia and Katreda (two units with Priests in them) to set off that ambush and sent everybody else the long way around the map. I'm sure this is TOTALLY a wise way to go about things.
The Stronghold in the mountain pass is guarded by Edgar here. Not too bad, but of course I don't honestly believe he'll be the only thing here. Just need to edge forward a little bit more and pull everyone else out of hiding...
THERE we go. Two more units.
Er. Five more units.
...Six. Hm. Maybe I should have pulled one or two more units off of the main route to help out here. Sheen, get over that river.
Okay. Fair-to-middling air units. Nothing I can't deal with.
Hm. Something tells me Abraham doesn't really GET the whole "air unit" thing. Still a decently put-together unit. And Matilda will die STUPID fast, but she has the potential to cause some damage first.
Oh, okay, good. This Freya unit only has a Griffin and an Opinincus. I was afraid for a second that it'd also have a
...SHIT. Is it too late to dispatch Guy? NEED GOLEMS NOW.
Well, let's get to it. The opening skirmishes are mine relatively easily, although Katreda ended up losing that battle since the second Pumpkin Shower only did 2 damage before
At this point there was nothing for it but to take on the Cockatrice unit. Wish me luck!
Oh dear Lord. Hurry up and kill the leader before
Yeah sometimes when the Ogre Battle Gods smite me with bad luck I get angry and begin cursing. This time I actually couldn't stop laughing.
Well, Fel is now the unit leader due to being the only one left who is not currently a sculpture. Let's just leave her to drag her friends back home to the HQ and bring Sheen in for a little help.
Like so. Man, Alita is earning her salary.
GET BACK HERE
Oh fuck it, let the HQ units deal with it.
Know what the best part of suddenly having way too many units is?
When 4/5ths of a unit gets FUCKING PETRIFIED and I don't have the Revive Stones to fix it, I can just have them retreat and replace them with a fresh one. Which is pretty sweet.
Since all of Dio's characters are currently capable of movement, they were able to take care of these guys pretty easily.
Meanwhile, with the ambush more or less dealt with, Katreda was able to just kill the fuck out of Edgar and waltz on into Novipoldt.
Meanwhile, the main group reaches this next stronghold and takes it without any resistance whatsoever. ...Yeah, DEFINITELY should have favored the ambush group a little more.
I wasn't able to get a shot of it happening due to getting taken COMPLETELY BY SURPRISE, but after finishing off one of those wandering units Alita's halo doubled in size and her hair went all blue.
Yes, given enough experience and a continued Lawful alignment an Angel Knight will "evolve" into a bigger and more important angel!
In terms of stat growth these things are actually pretty indistinguishable from Angel Knights. A bit more INT and a bit more DEX, but not a HUGE improvement. The main reason you want your Angel Knights to evolve is because their back-row attack will become Jihad, which (a) sounds and looks awesome and (b) deals Virtue damage to all enemies.
MEANWHILE. Katreda found yet another elemental greatsword, and Meredia polished off Boise's unit and was rewarded with a Rune Axe, which unless I'm forgetting something is the only Virtue-element 2H axe. It's pretty cool.
While schlepping all over the goddamn map, the main group ran into its only resistance so far, a Black Knight and his pet Wyverns.
No sweat. Yeah, DEFINITELY shouldn't have brought all these units on this path... anyway, cutscene time.
Basically upon liberating Kurashino, Freddie just so happens to bump into Destin and Gilbert. He's pretty casual about it.
: "We're both fine, but... Many were injured in the ambush. ...Listen, Freddie. Someone is betraying us. ...I've no doubt about it."
uh aren't you guys pretty much working independently at this point? So it's either YOU, or it's YOU. Glad I could help narrow it down.
: "...What's your thought on this? Have we done something wrong? Or else, why would someone turn against us...?"
: "Freddie, I know how you feel. We tend to talk big in front of you guys, but... we're worried, too. Not just now; all the time."
Uh, Gilbert... is this a cry for help? I don't know if psychiatry even exists in this setting; if you're depressed your number one option is pretty much to vent it by killing many, many people. Which you've already done.
: "When you spend every day of your life fighting, it becomes hard to tell what's right and what's wrong."
So LET GOD SORT 'EM OUT, DUH. Gilbert, I do NOT like how unbloodthirsty you've suddenly become.
: "As you grow old, you gain some useless knowledge... Even simple things get complicated. I only knew how to communicate with beasts, but now demands on me are much greater. ...You know what? You're doing the right thing. Believe in yourself, Freddie."
"oh everything is so morally ambiguous in this series and there are layers of complicated meaning which I'm suddenly seeing and nothing is simple anymore! Except what you're doing. You're 100% in the right. Way to go! "
I'm getting the idea this conversation was written with low Chaos Frame in mind...
: "You've grown... Freddie. You're very different from when we first met... when you lashed out at me with uncertainty in your eyes. You calmly observe what goes on in the world, and try to accept things as they are. I honestly believe you are capable of leading this kingdom. Now that I've talked to you, Freddie, I've made my decision. You have the talent of leadership, along with the determination to walk the path of righteousness. ...That's why I want to help you."
uh dude I'm already Frederick's sword and shield but sure let's do this
: "Thank you... Thank you very much, Destin... Gilbert. I don't know if I can meet your expectations, but I'll do my best."
: "Take it easy! We know you well enough. Besides, you can't expect us to do more than what we can, either! Hahahahaha!!"
So yeah, here is the game's first opportunity to really give you feedback on how you're doing with the whole lordly-caliber-person thing. This is about the point where many a young, confused gamer wondered why Destin was suddenly being such a huge jerk -- if your Chaos Frame is low, he is not kind to you.
PETRIFY THIS ASSHOLE
More spoils! Fire-element light armor. Earth-element Medium armor. I think at this point the ambush area has been more or less cleaned up entirely.
Getting a little spooky how completely empty 80% of this map is. Well at any rate Amdelm houses the shop. I think this is right about the correct time to splurge on a huge pile of Revive Stones.
Jeez, they couldn't have even put like a Witch unit on my old HQ or something for old times' sake? It's a fort! Defend it!!!
Meanwhile Boudica found this Earth-element 2H hammer. It's not quite as good as the Rune Axe, meaning it's probably going to Swift.
Barkley the Sword Master is apparently of the opinion that my mountain pass group hasn't been through enough yet and goes to hassle them.
Unfortunately for him, they're all nice and rested by now and can finish him off easily enough. He dropped a Flamberge, which is a decent (if non-elemental) one-handed sword. Also it looks cool.
Barkley's attack, of course, meant that what I'm assuming was his home stronghold of Muji was completely unattended and my main group was deprived of yet another battle. What a colossal waste of time! (I needed to send at least Freddie to get Destin of course)
Well, our boss for tonight is Rugale, who is disappointingly non-plot-important. Let's get to it--
OH SNAP ANOTHER AMBUSH. Of one unit.
Well, not really. It's actually two units who are indistinguishable from each other on the map due to apparently being in exactly the same place.
They're dealt with easily enough. True story, after I got the shot of O'Neil dying Ankiseth critted one of the Sirens for a one-hit kill. Dude's a beast.
It is at this point (after making my pre-boss save state, of course) that I remembered that one of those units sometimes drops Fafnir, the strongest sword in the game (non-elemental, though). If I'd thought to place a state before cleaning them up I could have savescummed for it. Too late now I guess.
Let's just fight Rugale and be done with it.
Yeah, Rugale here doesn't beat around the bush.
I'm thinking his title might just be prophetic, though!
: "You're wrong! It wasn't us!! It is you, the Caliginous Order, who is using the kingdom in order to acquire the power of the netherworld!"
: "Silence, silence!! Enough of your lies! Trying to divide us? We will not listen to your words. ...I'll send you to hell!!"
Of course, we DO currently have a werewolf with us. Maybe that's what he's talking about.
We never get the chance to find out, though. Asnabel's front row get one attack each and Rugale gets... well, martyred.
Yeah, this is why Black Knights are awesome. MAN I wish I'd brought Meredia to have Marty kill him, that would have been GOLD
: "...this world will come to an end... As long as heretics roam this land... Ogre Battle... is... un...avoid...able......"
I guess nobody ever told Rugale what this game was called.
Our reward tonight is another Glamdring. I'd rather have a Fafnir. should have savescummed
And of course the only states I have are (a) at the beginning of the level and (b) after the unit that dropped the Fafnir died out
ONE REFOUGHT BOSS LATER
HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO FUCKING KILL YOU
ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS
Okay fuck this.
Penthesilea obviously needs some SERIOUS luck therapy before she'll get through a mission without zombifying, and I'm out of Goblets. Gonna have to dupe after the mission's over and I can try again next time.
Well guys, this is the AUTHENTIC Ogre Battle experience! When I was growing up and playing this on a real console, I used to have to play entire missions over when I got an unwanted zombie. Uphill both ways etc etc etc.
Once more with feeling! Man, it's a good thing this is happening at such an easy boss.
Now that we've finished the mission WITHOUT anyone turning into a zombie, Freddie and Hugo have a scene in a basement/garage/whatever. It's where they get all their strategifyin' done.
: "The way to Latium is now clear. The rear guard will take care of the rest; we must move on."
: "Do you have something to tell me? ...Hugo? Didn't you want to speak to me in private?"
: "It appears... we have a spy among us."
Well yeah, it's either Destin or Gilbert, right? We determined that earlier. Just keep an eye on them. CASE CLOSED
: "I heard the same from Destin... So it is true?"
: "I can't think otherwise, from the way Destin's party was ambushed... And... we've lost contact with Xevec's group. ...We have no idea of their whereabouts."
It would appear that our spy has somehow eliminated an entire battalion, led by a known asshole. We should have figured something like this would happen when we learned what their battalion's name was.
On that note, we are back on the World Map, with our first Central Region mission map open! It's called Romulus and I guess there's a castle there! That's all we know! See you guys when we storm it!