Part 42: UPDATE 37: BetrayalJust a few things to get out of the way before this update:
For one thing, I have a new axe and a new hammer in need of homes. They're a pretty decent step up from what we had. Asnabel could probably kill Grozz Nuy faster than Troi did at this point, with only two attacks to boot.
Also: new sword. Doreauxgard is getting enough of an attack boost from Flamberge that I'm banking on it not mattering too much that it's non-elemental. This of course frees up an Ice Blade for his good buddy Meister.
Sigmund is pretty awesome-looking. It's like as wide as your head.
Somewhat more excitingly than that, I have a couple of new characters! There is one very important thing to notice about Destin's character screen as I give him this awesome and angular new greatsword: he is unique among OB64 characters in that he gets three attacks not only in the front row but also in the MIDDLE row. Also he's got some crazy attack power, but that's to be expected.
Something you may have heard me mention in passing about Dio's unit before is that every character in it other than Dio himself got three attacks. Guess what we can fix now!
Yes, if we move Dio to the front, he gets a third attack, and if we put Destin in his place we get a unit with a total of 15 attacks. I had not planned this gimmick for Dio, but I'm glad it worked out this way! This DOES however mean that MacLeod is warming the bench for the moment, but I figured that was probably okay since he is no one's self-insert.
You had to know this was coming. If we have a unique Beast Master, that means our old one is out of a job.
But fear not, Cucka, for you still have a future! Meredia's front lines needed a little muscle, and who better to deliver it than a new Black Knight, armed with Asnabel's old hammer?
So yeah we don't want any mishaps like we had last time. I underestimated just how abysmal a character's luck could be, to disastrous effect. I should be able to prevent that this time, though, through the magic of item duplication and savescumming! Yeah I gave her 30 Goblets of Destiny, and by some freak chance every single one of them raised her luck! It was the damnedest thing. Of course I still have no idea what her Luck stat IS, but hopefully it's now enough to stave off zombification.
We'll never know until we try, of course! Let's go get her killed! ...And advance the plot. Mostly the Angel Knight thing, though.
Update 37: Betrayal
Tonight we open straight to the Hugo Room.
: "The way to Latium has been secured by the Revolutionary Army and the Church. We can now move freely without worries."
Hugo is normally pessimistic, but he must have changed his tune considerably if he no longer considers the Central Division, Lodis, or the mounting demon army "worries." Naturally this passes without any comment whatsoever.
: "Did we find out anything about Xevec's party, the Southern Tigers?"
: "We have no idea what happened to them... We have to expect the worst..."
: "......I guess you're right... By the way, Hugo, are preparations for the assault on Fort Romulus ready?"
"oh btw just a side point before we finish the Oh No What Happened to Xevec discussion: how the hell are we going to get through this mission?"
: "That's all taken care of. ...Take a look at this. Let's get started..."
: "We must liberate Fort Romulus and the outlying areas. The battlefield may seem small, but we expect this battle to be huge. Enemy units are spread throughout the area. It seems that there's no way for us to avoid them. This battle will be a tough one indeed, but don't roll over."
What's the matter, Hugo? ...Are you WORRIED?
: "...Can you spread the word that it's not our intention to slaughter the enemy? It's unnecessary to kill the wounded and those who've lost their will to fight."
: "I will do that."
Freddie, are we playing the same game here?
This reminds me a lot of GTA4. In his cutscenes Niko is all "I used to kill lots of people all the time but I hope I can make a new start here in America, oh look at me learning the futility of vengeance, maybe now I can be redeemed and finally make a clean break from my violent past," but then as soon as the player regains control of him he will have absolutely no qualms with emptying an Uzi clip into a crowd, then stealing a city bus and driving it and all its passengers off the side of a bridge.
Meanwhile in THIS game if I were to actually refrain from killing leaderless units I'd get like a fifth the EXP and no reward items so what the HELL does Freddie think he's talking about?
To begin with, this map's shop is on the HQ again. It is the first place in the game where we can freely buy Sum Mannuses and Glamdrings, but the thing is I don't really have that much of a demand for either of those anymore. It would have been awesome a chapter ago. Also to Gilbert's dismay they don't have any Happy Meal toys.
Naturally we're being attacked. Apparently I don't have a screenshot containing BOTH of these guys, so here, have two.
Yeah, I definitely feel like the game ran out of flying unit designs a while ago and is just shamelessly using the same ones over and over. They could have at least updated those Hawkmen in Jay's unit. I'm embarrassed for them.
True story: While trying to run this mission with the Rice video plugin, I had to restart like twice at this point because P64 froze up whenever anything got petrified. Just a heads-up for you guys.
Anyway Jay's dead.
Goddamn flying units couldn't kill a Cleric to save their lives!
Anyway normally when an enemy unit attacks a stronghold containing a stack of units it will engage combat by default with whichever of your units has the lowest ID number, meaning Freddie in this case. For some reason Zerig chose to fight Ankiseth. Ankiseth wiped him the fuck out. I am confused but not unsatisfied.
I confess I've never actually used the Holy Comet -- it is of course Virtue-element but it's not as powerful as the Blood Whip and I only ever have one Beast Master in my army. Eh, maybe.
Anyway as you can see from that screenshot we've got a second wave of attackers inbound.
I'm trying to come up with a Rush Jet joke but I got nothing. Meanwhile Tanya thankfully isn't packing a Cockatrice, and has made the odd decision to place her Valkyries in front of her Freyas. Not that I'm complaining.
Yeah stuff like this right here is why I love combo magic. Nothing more satisfying than wiping out an entire front row with one giant storm of triangles.
I don't know why this game keeps on making its Ultimate Weapons non-guaranteed drops from random-ass enemy units rather than anything more high-drama, but the oddly-visually-unimpressive-but-still-pretty-metal Gramlock is the game's most powerful 1H Axe. Got a present for Sheen~~~
Dio's 15 attacks were a little too widely spread-out against Tanya, and she survived even if more than half her unit did not.
She retreated to the otherwise-empty stronghold of Norle and was kind enough to kill Penthesilea for me.
At that point, of course, no more reason to keep Tanya around! More strongholds for me.
Taking Norle will trigger another wave of AI counterattack. If you send a unit there to liberate it without any backup you may have to pull back to deal with them. Luckily for me Freddie was at the head of a conga line of pretty much my entire force. Let's see what we're up against.
Yeah, the line between Central Division and demons really has gotten kind of blurry, hasn't it? There are no Ogres here, no Saturoses leading units, but a couple of the guys I'm fighting happen to be buddies with a couple of Goblins and that's it. Subtle.
Yeah this is still definitely the best random AI name there is.
I think this shot does as much to emphasize the awesomeness of Europea's attack animation as any still image really could. Look at that trail her sword is leaving.
Conversely, the problem with killing stuff via Meteor Strike is that the resultant screenshots will always look something like this. I guess I could give you a shot of the meteor itself and then add "little john died" as a caption but that seems even lamer. Yeah two shots for Drakonite kills from here on out.
Y'know, I never really noticed it before, but the Bahamut's rear legs are basically giant chicken feet. It's all very Baba Yaga.
The Celestial Hammer is better than anything we'd had BEFORE this mission started, but of course it's not quite as as Gramlock. I'll still take it!
Somewhat late to the counterattack party is Chao the Beast Master, with sort of a worse version of Zerig's unit from earlier.
Wiping his bitch ass the fuck out with Dio's flurry nets me another Touelno -- Vad came with one of these, but if not for him we wouldn't have seen it yet. Better than any other claw we have at present.
The Evil Spear, found on the ground, is a better spear than we've seen so far -- man, I didn't remember this until now, but Romulus really does have a motherlode of loot, doesn't it? You'll wanna pick this up -- you can get another one later, but not guaranteed and not until the game is damn near over.
Specifically Asnabel found that spear while on his way to fight Savatini, who'd have a decent unit if she just positioned that one Goblin a little better and upgraded her archers, tsk tsk
Yeah none of them last very long as is. I think I can about declare Asnabel's development done. He's just an unstoppable engine of destruction. Also the Yggdrasil looks like a piece of fudge on a stick
Next in my path is Reeves. I can't take his stronghold because it's very Chaotic and Asnabel is off taking Bilce, but I can sure kill him!
With DRAGONS. Yeah, Earthquake actually does some decent damage on top of a guaranteed unit-wide Power Down. Considering putting TWD in the back row for some Divine Ray action, too -- the main problem is that'd involve opening Boudica up to melee hits.
The Cloak of Oath gives some decent Bane resistance, but the thing is it doesn't give as big an INT boost as the Robe of the Wise or the Bloodstained Robes and I have sort of an all-offense-all-the-time mindset. Gives a decent MEN boost, though, and could be situationally useful.
I was so distracted by all that hullabaloo that I almost missed Chamberlain attacking Freddie over here in the west (since I didn't actually mean to fight him just yet). Here's what his unit looks like. Meh. EXP farm.
Hm. The Notos is the third-most-powerful sword in the game (and the second-most powerful one we'll be able to get). Wind-element. I got it for finishing off Little John. Kind of a disproportionate reward, but I don't mind.
Well, while he's in the area Freddie can take Murau, and now that Asnabel's finally back he can take Ottochaz and we can move on!
On an unrelated note, I've decided my firstborn son will be named Otto Chaz. Has a simple charm to it.
Next up: in this universe Destro's arms syndicate is apparently made up entirely of Witches. Go Joe!
Yeah, Witch units like this are not sustainable. You might be able to prevent most of the damage enemy units can do if you get a wide enough spread, but status doesn't last after battle ends and any damage they DO deal does. You'll eventually get ground into dust, like Destro did. Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.
Loot time! I like the Paua Hammer because it looks kind of like one of those squeaky-hammer things you give to toddlers who like hitting stuff with stuff, but we've got better 2H hammers by far.
The Celestial Veil is light headgear that gives an INT boost, Bane resistance, and (more importantly) immunity to petrification. It has its uses.
Clothing-tier armor with a decent INT boost. Basically the Water-element equivalent of the Forest Tunic. Found it on the ground. We'll find a place for it.
Now that that's all out of the way, time to make my final approach. There's a couple more units guarding the enemy HQ.
Wow, Kasha's design is like if you took Boudica's design and made it worse in every possible way imaginable. Euridice is just plain mediocre.
As I'm sure you know by now, the best response to a unit whose leader is hiding in the rear corner, after you've hit magic tier 2 and can't really target corners so well with combo magic, is a pair of Dianas.
After I accidentally fought Euridice with a sideways-facing Europea, she limped back to the HQ. I guess I'll have to just swat her out of the way before I fight the boss.
One more piece of loot first -- the Elder's Sign gives kind of a lackluster INT boost (better than the Snow Orb by 1 point), but it does grant the wearer immunity to Paralysis. Very situational if you ask me, but YMMV. Anyway our boss for today is...
DUN DUN DUNNNNN
yeah you probably should have seen this coming vv
Dammit, Euridice, you're messing with my dramatic timing!
: "Don't get me wrong. Independence from Lodis is one of our goals, right? I just gave one a higher priority over the other."
I guess this whole time we've been fighting the Southern Tigers and it just never came up? And also there were a bunch of Goblins in the Southern Tigers for some reason? yeah I dunno
: "Both the King and the Prince gained the power above all. You know? The 'ultimate power' attained by the Progenitor himself... With that, gaining independence from Lodis is a piece of cake."
Xevec is confusing getting possessed by demons with becoming omnipotent. Common mistake.
: "The ultimate power!? No! You must not use that... It's the power of the netherworld!"
and also they don't even have it
: "So what? ...The only thing that matters is power, nothing else! As long as we get what we want, who cares about the means. If we succeed, we'll join the elite. ...Help me!! For the future of this kingdom!"
Yknow Xevec we probably would have been in the elite if the Revolution succeeded too, just throwin that out there
I'm getting the sneaking suspicion, though, that none of that dialogue was actually unique to Freddie.
So let's get out of here before Xevec goes dying on us and find out if there's anything else.
: "Xevec, why did you do this!? You're going against what you believed in, what you fought for!"
: "You know why you made it this far!? Did you ever stop to think about those who suffered behind your glorious victories? We're sick and tired of this shit! You only pursued your ideals and ignored reality."
Well I guess the moral here is that ignoring reality wins battles! Take notes, Xevec.
: "We accept the reality. ...Don't insult us! Because we understand what really goes on in this world... Because we experience the tragedies ourselves, we try our best to reach our goals!"
: "You can only talk shit like that after winning the revolution!"
So yeah, the translation of THAT scene was pretty abysmal. Let me try to summarize:
WHOA HOLY CRAP let me go get Equius and MaskedHuzah!
If you'll recall, Plasma Ball is the tier-1 Wind/Fire combo. It evolves Stone Golems into Baldr Golems. This is the first time we've seen enemy units use it. I guess if you're still using Stone Golems at this point, this is pretty much the only opportunity we've seen so far to evolve them naturally. The downside of that is that Stone Golems were obsolete like a chapter ago.
Anyway Zemeckis totally stole Freddie's kill, this would have been MUCH more dramatic if he'd been able to finish Xevec off himself <>
: "...against the royal blood... you don't have... a cha...nce..."
I dunno man, I've seen Amrius in action in cutscenes and all evidence points to him being a bitchy bitch bitch bitch. I like my chances.
An ICE BLADE??? Oh COME ON, what's this Chapter 2 shit!?
A side note here: If we'd been playing a Naughty Playthrough this whole time, (alternate playthrough spoilers) Xevec would not have been the area's boss. It would have been a mystery Dragoon who would reveal himself to actually be Dio! If you'll recall, Dio would have left us and joined the Central Division a while ago, then killed Rhade and taken his place. I don't recall exactly, but I think in that version Xevec gets wiped the fuck out by Dio's beatstick squad rather than betraying you, because in that plotline you're enough of an asshole to avoid making him all butthurt. Dio's triumphant return is as a decently difficult boss (harder than that wuss Xevec was anyway), and then he dies. It's pretty and more dramatic than this version was, but like I said before I'd rather have Dio actually still working for me any day.
No change on the world map except for one detail: the label in the corner once said "Romulus" but now says "Fort Romulus." Did you notice how Xevec's boss fight took place OUTSIDE? Yeah apparently they didn't let him in, and they haven't let US in yet either. We're not done in Romulus yet, not by a long shot. Next time: A new mission type!