Part 46: UPDATE 41: Denizens of the Netherworld
Wake up, you idiot. These altars ain't cheap, you know.
Well, this should help keep you from getting killed again. By magic anyway. Certainly won't help if you get a sword to the face, so I guess it falls to me to keep that from happening.
I could have done this a chapter ago had we taken the other Chapter 3 path. Better late than never! Look at all those glorious little blue numbers! And inconsequential red ones, but meh.
Well, I've given up hope of Meredia and Rose doing any more combos ever anyway, so I might as well get around to rewarding Meredia's service. She gets both a fancy stick and a fancy book with a fancy animation we'll see eventually!
Some awesome armor and a decent axe later, it's finally time to get underway again!
If you will recall, our next arbitrarily-chosen destination is called Barpheth. I am assuming that there are some people there we can kill? I dunno let's go find out.
Update 41: Denizens of the Netherworld
Okay, so, uh, no explanation of why we're here or anything? We're just getting down to the nitty-gritty already?
: "Let's get started..."
Big map this time. I like the small ones better -- those tend to both go quicker due to less time spent schlepping around, and (somewhat paradoxically) contain more enemies. You see a small map, shit's going down. You see a big map, get ready to watch a lot of walking.
: "We must liberate Fort Viezey. If our intelligence is correct, this region is controlled by the demons. I'm not sure what they're up to, but they can't be ignored. They're strongest during the night hours. Avoid fighting them at night."
I actually have no idea whether this is true. If it is, it's one of many different modifiers the game has (eg beasts getting bonuses from beast masters, defenders getting bonuses on strongholds, etc) which you kind of have to take its word for.
: "Be careful marching on the city."
Look Hugo, I understand that you don't have much for me today, that doesn't mean you have to redefine an Enemy Headquarters for me again.
what's all this "city" nonsense anyway, i thought it was a fort
Before we do anything else tonight, let's go shopping.
I'm pretty sure this shop is the first place you can buy Hwail Mails, which is pretty cool, but I mostly just wanted to make extra sure I had some spare Revive Stones for this mission. Just trust me on this. Buy some rocks, stick them in your HQ. We'll see why later.
Now that the shopping is out of the way, we're under attack. Lovell here is just mocking me with the fact that I still don't have a Love And Peace, I'm sure of it.
Hm. Very light on human enemies, considering how integrated the Central Division has been lately.
GUESS WHO ELSE GETS STRONGER AT NIGHT, MOTHERFUCKER
All in all, I give this HQ attack a 3/10. I know it's a big map and everything, but it just feels like your heart's not in it.
Oh look, another one. Where exactly did he start? Well it's not important. He's apparently willing to sacrifice any prospects he had of receiving meatshield protection to allow room for that thing he's with we've never seen before.
Somewhat surprisingly, these things aren't Demons, they're Beasts. Also as kind of a refreshing change of pace, they're Large spellcasters. Put them in the front and they do a boring physical attack; from the middle or back they get an "Evocation" which from what I can tell is a fancy way of saying "Dark Quest." You can get some decent damage with these guys -- not as much as a human spellcaster due to an inability to use Drakonite books, but they can soak up decent damage too. I kinda like them.
Well that didn't last long. Let's see what was so important to make room for.
Huh. Not bad at all. I guess it helped that Dio's formation is so densely packed.
Granted, it didn't stop him from wiping this unit right the hell out, but still, a good hit!
Time to get going! The Lance of Longinus, found on the ground, isn't QUITE as strong or awesome-looking as the Evil Spear, but it's Virtue-flavored which is worth a bit in itself. Make sure you go here and get it; it's not exactly out of your way.
Hm. Two strongholds down and not a single unit shows up to defend either one. I guess maybe their guards were part of that HQ attack?
No, this one's empty too. Large maps, ladies and gentlemen.
Well, at least the vast and unyielding emptiness gives Sheen pretty much carte blanche to fly around and pick up treasures. These are two pretty important ones! Remember back in Alba when we could have bought Annihilation for more money than we could possibly get over like the whole game? That was a funny idea, wasn't it? I just found one on the ground next to this river. I don't see what the big deal is! fire-element drakonite Oh, and also we FINALLY have another Love And Peace. Gonna catch me a Saturos
Ankiseth, I want you to think long and hard about that sentence. See if you can figure out why I'm scowling at you right now. Maybe you can figure it out while everyone else is having dinner and you're chopping firewood with your fancy sword.
Oh, it's an ambush. No, go ahead, you can take him. He's already dead to me anyway.
Yeah, it turns out that when Hugo was telling me the demons were "protecting the city" or whatever earlier, he wasn't being condescending, just poorly-translated. I suspect he meant "cities." Some of the Strongholds in Barpheth are hiding ambushes; this can combine with the long hikes you'll necessarily be taking to reach them to cause your units to get caught with high Fatigue. Make sure you camp before taking anything.
Let's see if these guys have any spare Saturoses for me!
Nope. They sure do like Ogres, though. Know what I like about Ogres?
They make really good guinea pigs for awesome magic spells I just got. Let's see White Mute in action!
Starts off with a galaxy or something. Okay I'm not really seeing the connection to ice, but I guess a Drakonite spell is allowed to showboat a little.
Alright, I guess snowflakes are a bit more on-topic, but that looks less "deadly" and more "scenic." I'm trying to KILL these guys, not go on a date with them.
WHOA the whole screen just froze! WHAT A TWIST
And it just shattered all over you so what you gonna do??? Alright, White Mute. Confused start, but a strong finish. Would cast again. 7.5/10.
No, you guys did a good job killing that Ogre and stuff, it just wasn't, y'know, flashy. I'm still not convinced I'm gonna let you have your dinner tonight. Sorry, them's the breaks!
If you want to find awesome spears just lying around on the ground, Barpheth is the map for you. Ignis here is the second-strongest in the game and our new best. It's Fire-element, which isn't QUITE as good as Bane or Virtue, but does its job nicely anyway.
Okay, Ning? I see you over there in the Forest. You can come out now. Yes, you're very sneaky. I'm impressed. Really, I am.
Ooh, you've got a pet Ogre. Cool! I've got some pets too! C'mon, let's set up a little play-date for them.
Awww, he likes you
In response to Ankiseth coming to his goddamn senses and remembering how to properly liberate a stronghold, we get another attack of two units. One of them is way out in the middle of nowhere so as to surprise me as ineffectively as possible; the other one happens to pop up right in front of Leia and Guy!
Y'know what, I'm just gonna come right out and say it. I'm MUCH happier battling a zillion Ogres on this map than I was fighting two zillion Ghosts last time.
For example, a Ghost might have stood some chance of keeping Aurora alive for longer than one battle! but probably not. I have one Breidablick already (it came with Debonair, I believe); it's a pretty decent Water-themed heavy armor. Glad to have another! It's probably going to Ankiseth.
Speaking of which! I'm really happy to have gotten to the part of the game where it's less of a question of whether I can kill a unit leader in one battle and more of a question of whether I can kill the whole UNIT in one battle.
Asnabel joined the east group for long enough to liberate this last stronghold, and we see another ambush, like clockwork. You can set your watch to those things.
Well lookie here! Archdemon Clyde is backing up his awesome name with a pair of Saturos lackeys for me to possibly use my brand-new Love And Peace on!
Gilbert here is kind enough to take Clyde himself out of action, after which I'm quick to get the hell out of there. See, Love And Peace doesn't work on Petrified characters any more than it works on dead ones, and I wanna make sure I don't accidentally petrify all three of these guys.
(again, petrification seems to give Rice lots of trouble; enjoy these crappier-looking Glide64 screenshots until the whole thing blows over)
It's hard for me to focus on Love And Peace with this Siren breathing down my neck! Her Wyvern friend can fly right over Ozzie's Earthquake (in subsequent battles I remembered to switch him into the front row), but that doesn't stop Boudica from killing Sodina and getting her out of my hair.
Now, then, let's see if we can't teach Clyde's friends a little something about this human disease... called LOVE.
Well, we've now successfully used a Love And Peace on one angel and one demon. Fitting! Here's our new buddy Fritz reppin his new Revolutionary colors. He didn't have to get a dye job just for me!
Now that that's dealt with, let's discuss tonight's boss. Meet Mylmurre. Wow, we hadn't had a new class description in so long, and now we get two in one update!
The first new type of Demon we've seen in a while! From the middle or back they're the evil equivalent of normal Archers, but they do a little something special from the front row. We'll see in a second.
See, I don't even have to pretend to make those blurbs make sense out of context anymore because the Megadump ran out of space for new information a LONG time ago! It's so liberating! Let's kill a Gorgon.
As a reward for having displeased me, I select Ankiseth to be first to fight this boss. Let's see how it goes!
: "Go back to whence you came!"
: "Do not interfere, humans! Do not interfere with your King's ambition... the return of our queen."
oh god, that again
Yeah, this isn't even really a battle, to be honest. Mylmurre, whose name I really hate typing, gets the first action...
I already don't like the way this is looking.
And with a flash of eye-beams, most of Ankiseth's team...
...is petrified! Yes, Gaze of Terror is a full-unit petrification attack. Any unit that has a shield is immune, hence Mehuyael still being capable of movement, and anyone that the Gorgon doesn't have a direct line of sight to is also safe, hence Donna, but this attack will still just about wipe you out unless you prepare for it specifically.
I think Ankiseth's learned his lesson now. Let's just end this.
So how do you counter a Gorgon? Well, you could use Golems, either giving your Enchanter up for lost or changing him temporarily to something with a shield. You could build a unit specifically for use against Gorgons, with everything in it either holding a shield or wearing a Celestial Veil -- if you make sure to put one back-row character in the center column behind someone with a shield, you'd only need one Veil to pull that off.
Or you could do it the easy way and send someone around behind her.
PFFT WHAT AN EASY BOSS
Thanks to this bow, Mylmurre is still fully capable of Petrifying people no matter where you attack her from -- it is pretty much the most awesome weapon in existence, being guaranteed to inflict Petrification on any enemy it scores a hit on (who isn't immune). Luckily Sheen didn't give her a chance to move.
Anyway time for another HYPER-TENSE INTERROGATION SCENE
: "Do you not hate them?"
: "For the return of our queen, we can endure this. Above all... Lady Danika can only be awakened by a human... of royal blood."
: "...The royal blood?"
I like how that's the part of that sentence Freddie decides to respond to.
Yumil's new friends are called the Knights of Danika. The demons have been prattling on all game long about resurrecting their queen. Snakey here is talking about awakening someone who is ALSO named Danika. What are the odds?
: "Lady Danika, and the royalty of Palatinus... They share... the same blood... They are... related..."
Okay that's really not that huge of a plot twist, but thanks for the genealogy lesson!
Back to the Hugo Room for a talk with this guy, who is apparently the face of this quasimythical "intelligence division" Hugo keeps namedropping. Great, now I know who to fire!
This particular time, rather than showing up BEFORE the mission when he might have been of some use, he is here specifically to act as a Plot Dump Ninja.
: "I'm sorry, sir. The information I gathered is nothing more than rumors."
: "That's fine. Tell me."
"I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading, where rumors, true or false, are often revealing."
: "Yes, sir. First of all, it appears that King Procus is not the one controlling the Central Region. A person known as the 'Child of the Covenant' or 'The Chosen' is the one holding the real power. Next, about the denizens of the netherworld... They hope to resurrect their queen, whom we believe is... the goddess Danika."
Yawn. Old news.
: "Danika is the queen of the netherworld? ...How could that be? According to legend, she was taken there, but... why is she called as such?"
jeez hugo were you not paying attention to that dying gorgon or what
: "There are many versions of the legends of Berthe and Danika... One of them reports that Danika ate the fruit of the netherworld, and by doing so, both her body and soul were filled with darkness."
: "...The fruit of the netherworld..."
This part is taken directly from Greek myth. If you'll recall, Danika is roughly equivalent to Persephone, the daughter of the Greek harvest goddess, who was taken by Hades to be his bride. She was reasonably displeased with this development, but before she was let go she was tricked into eating six pomegranate seeds, which for some reason means that she now has to stay in the Netherworld six months out of the year, which is (according to the Greeks) why we have seasons.
If you were wondering what OB64's Fruit of the Netherworld looks like, look no further.
: "As of now, we don't know how Danika's resurrection is linked to the demons' cooperation with Latium. The reason is uncertain as to why The Chosen wants the resurrection of the goddess Danika."
: "He is carrying out a so-called 'divine plan,' which includes the suppression of the revolution, the destruction of Lodis, and the creation of a new world where he will reign over both humans and demons. Due to lack of details, we don't know how this plan is related to the resurrection of Danika."
: "Rule over both humans and demons? Isn't he a human?"
: "I'm sorry, sir. It is yet to be confirmed..."
You really REALLY have to wonder how these guys still haven't figured out The Chosen is Yumil.
: "Well, at least we now know that something big is going on in Winnea... From what we've heard, it doesn't look like we have much time left."
: "And... It's hard for me to tell you, but..."
: "What's wrong? Go on."
: "We've located Prince Yumil..."
: "What!? Is he safe?"
: "Yes. He was seen at Castle Winnea."
DUN DUN DUNNN no really this is stupid
Well, we've successfully completed the Long Way Around To Latium which I guess is what we were getting at that whole time. We can go there now, or we can go and take care of the Blue Basilica which we skipped earlier, but also I'm seeing what appears to be a completely unrelated location damn near all the way off the map. Guess where WE're going next time.