Part 57: UPDATE 52A: LordlyUpdate 52A: Lordly
After we successfully knocked the crazy demigoddess out of this giant killer swamp tree, we find Freddie just kind of hanging out and staring at it.
She reappears to him here -- remember, a large part of the point of being a demigod is that being hit with a sword no longer qualifies as a Thing That Could Kill You -- but thankfully she's in Elegant Floaty Lady mode rather than in Psycho Naked Plant Lady mode. This one's much less likely to kill us.
"Man I have NO MEMORY of last night and my head is killing me, what happened? Aw jeez, I turned into a giant carnivorous plant and started throwing fireballs again, didn't I? God, that's embarrassing. Well, thanks for keeping me from calling my ex or something, that would've been way worse. Because he is literally the devil."
: "Please wait. Tell me one thing... Were you, truly... queen of the netherworld?"
: "Both good and evil... reside within my heart. And as both god and human, I continually sway between the two sides. I become the queen of the netherworld when my heart is filled with hatred, and peace of mind makes me the god of fertility."
...must... avoid... making... sexist... jokes....
In other words, Baldwin got SO PISSED OFF that Danika wasn't giving him God Superpowers that he drove her crazy and made her almost kill everything. MAN was that guy a toolbox.
Note that the background has faded out to black. Probably for the best. I don't think Mount Keryoleth was supposed to have a Malefic Forest anyway.
: "Do you realize...? I am just like you."
: "......Way of the darkness..."
: "Both you and the denizens of the netherworld share the same origin. Humans live on fertile lands, while the Ogres live in the wastelands, controlled by hatred... That is the only difference."
"also they're giant monsters, but the important part is the class-warfare implications, that's the only way we can keep this moral-amibiguity train running"
: "You are even more unstable than I...... You are human, and Ogre at the same time. That is why it is possible for the Ogre Battle to occur without the influence of the netherworld... As humans fight among themselves... and hate each other..."
"you see, the ogre battle has been inside each of us all along"
: "Son of man... It is not by accident that Yumil was selected as my vessel. This was all planned... by someone with formidable power."
: "...The Ogre Battle cannot be avoided."
Wow. Mari's dad sure is featuring pretty heavily in this ending sequence considering he died before the game started, isn't he?
: "Be careful... ...Son of man..."
And with an animation like a flower closing, she's gone. WHEW. Alright, the queen of the netherworld getting resurrected wasn't so bad after all! Look, she even cleaned up some corpses for us! What a nice lady.
Cut to that courtyard again. Slight change of cast.
: "Freddie, I knew you'd be here... You're thinking about Yumil, aren't you? Not to say you should forget him. ...I think that's impossible. He's not here anymore. You are, though. ...I know you understand. The peace you've won, his dream is here, now. ...Those who followed you, and fought with you, are here."
: "We're heading back for Zenobia, to inform our King of what happened. I'm sorry to say, but I believe war with Lodis is inevitable... I don't know what our King will say, but I promise you that we'll return."
Awww, Destin's got our back.
: "...Do you want to come with us?"
: "I... will stay in Palatinus. This kingdom is in pain. Many were lost, and the land has been trampled by war... I'm going to put my energy into rebuilding this kingdom. I don't know what I can do, but I'll do the best I can to make this a place where people can live peacefully and exercise their beliefs."
: "...Saradin has said this to me often. 'Man has a responsibility to make the most of his talents and abilities...' Believe in yourself, Freddie. There is nothing you can't do. I'm looking forward to seeing the new Palatinus...... your kingdom."
: "Can you tell me about fate? Do we have no control over it? Did Yumil have to follow his fate... that was predestined for him?"
: "Don't be mistaken, Freddie! He didn't submit to his fate. He accepted his fate, and what's more, he lived for all he was worth."
"ie not much, BURRRRRN"
: "To some, their fates are decided at birth... But the outcome isn't important! What's important is how each person lives his life! You must remember his courage, his determination to fight against his fate."
"yeah, i know i just said he accepted it, but still, we're writing the history books now, so make him look a little better in your memories, it can't hurt"
Oh hey this scene had a lovely view of the mountains all this time, and they're just now showing it for half a second. Swanky!
Yup, one final sepia-toned Current Events Montage.
King Frederick governed the kingdom not for himself, but for the people. Because he never sat on the throne, and his policies reflected the will of the people, he later became known as King Frederick the Benevolent.
Title's kind of a mouthful, but at least it probably means he did alright for himself. Good on ya, Frederick.
In... in the great what that shook the where?
THAT SOUNDS SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT, WOULDN'T YOU SAY
LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FEATURED IN SOME KIND OF COMPUTERIZED GAME
BUT NOT THIS ONE BECAUSE IT IS ALREADY TOO LONG
Upon his death, the rule of Palatinus was given to a man, who was the late King's right hand man.
"That man's name: Hugo Miller."
IN WHICH TROI MUST HURRY UP
: "Don't be so hasty, Father. Geez..."
: "Sorry, Katreda. I gotta go now."
: "Take care... Troi."
Boy, that sure was the most boring possible way they could have implied that Katreda and Troi are an item! To be fair, Katreda is an incredibly boring character anyway. She just happened to be the only one we had who was roughly age-appropriate for Troi to date. Well, at least he pulled it off.
IN WHICH HUGO IS SORRY FOR CALLING PEOPLE BACK TO BATTLE
: "It's not your fault. Don't worry about it."
: "...Well, you look rather happy to me. You didn't know what to do with yourself, huh?"
: "What!? You..."
: "You guys are...? Wow, really? I never would've figured that one out."
: "Sh, Shut up!!"
Yeah I dunno where Meredia is getting this idea or why Biske is reacting to it like a 12-year-old. This is turning out to be a pretty shiptastic ending, though! By process of elimination, Meredia is now Hugo's trophy wife. Except she's richer than him. Not bad, old man!
: "Why are you all shy? Don't you think you're a bit too old for that?"
Keep in mind that Biske spends all night, every night as a furry. 6 PM to 6 AM, EVERY NIGHT, not just that old only-during-a-full-moon crap. The only possible conclusion, therefore, is that Liedel is... into that. Yeah. YOU'RE WELCOME.
She speaks for all of us.
IN WHICH SHEEN WONDERS WHAT HE SHOULD DO
: "Let me think..."
...until the battle is over."
: "......You think so, too?"
These two knuckleheads went on to have the most nihilistic buddy-comedy story of all time.
: "Leave it to me."
Yeah I guess what the king of Zenobia told Destin was something along the lines of "don't even worry about it, just go and be a resistance leader again somewhere, I know that's what you're gonna end up doing anyway." It's kind of his thing.
And look who decided she doesn't like snow after all!
: "Destin, he is coming... with his comrades."
Wow, Europea, thanks for providing us with more story-critical information without being at all cryptic! She's got a long and fruitful future as an Old Wise Person ahead of her, I can tell.
Aw look, the gang's all here
: "King Frederick's death will be deeply mourned. ...We must not let our hearts be filled with hatred! You must not forget! Your true adversary lies within yourself. It's your weakness of heart, your negative emotions."
FREDDIE THE PREACHY
: "Don't ever lose sight of your humanity... your kindness."
"this is my big inspirational battle speech, now let's go kill some people or something I guess"
Wow, I wasn't far off.
"We will win our future! With KINDNESS! This is a HAPPY SWORD!"
Definition of "Palladian". yeah i dunno
For his valor in defending the continents of Zeteginia and Galicia from invasion of the eastern barbarian tribes, and for practicing the republican policies of his predecessor, he will be remembered as a great king, in both strength and wisdom...
"oh also there was that whole war-with-lodis thing, he was probably important in that too
but who cares about that, here's something about war with people you've never heard of"
His legacy will be carried on by his son, Prince Aeneas Gallant.
"no, he did not name his son after Yumil or Ankiseth or anyone else of any importance to the story, he named him after a damn Roman epic hero because we just can't stop inappropriately referencing Roman geography and history"
"oh, and nothing about who his wife is, we've shipped enough goddamn characters already"
I can't show you the credits, unfortunately, because for some reason every plugin I used showed a big ugly graphical glitch over them.
Look at this ugly piece of shit. Yeah, no thank you. I'm pretty sure what's supposed to be there is some of the nicer background images; rest assured we're PROBABLY not missing anything actually interesting.
And here -- RIGHT HERE -- is the only time the phrase "chaos frame" or any inkling of the Chaos Frame's existence has made its way into the game. 100 points, bitches. That's that!
I'm sure you're wondering how the ending would have looked if I wasn't this awesome at the game, though. What would happen if we somehow managed to get only a fair-to-middling Chaos Frame? Granted, this is the least likely scenario, because either you didn't know what a Chaos Frame was and got 0 points or you've been systematically liberating every single stronghold the whole game and got 100 points (because like I said the game botched this mechanic by requiring you to use the Internet to even know what it is), but let's take a look anyway.
As it turns out, the ending is exactly the same this way up until the very end, when you find out you're not actually the king this time.
Word of his exploits as a leader spread across the continent. The defender of Zeteginia and Galicia, who thwarted invasions of the eastern barbarian tribes...
He was known by all as a paragon of chivalry, by the way he defended Palatinus from numerous battles and lived by his sword.
As a knight, he pledged his allegiance to no one...... not even his king...
"his unnamed, unspecified king, of course, because at this point everyone actually featured in the game who could do it is dead, and he can't do it himself because he pissed off exactly half of the people in the towns he took in the revolutionary war and that totally killed his chances"
Which leaves exactly one possibility left to cover (in this update, anyway). What would have happened if instead of being awesome and studly paragons of virtue, we were a pack of raging assholes? What if we'd let all our units fall to ALI 0 or rise to ALI 100 and captured strongholds left and right without a care in the world? Would everyone still fall all over themselves to love us and crown us king and attach nonsensical fake adjectives to our title, or even let us live out our lives as a heroic general and legendary figure? Come on this journey with me into the what-might-have-been!
okay it's the same so far
HERE we go. Freddie is walking down a hallway. He is being stopped by these knights. You know they are trouble because their swords are out, but actually mostly because their armor is red. Red is bad.
: "Stop, Freddie!"
: "What does it all mean? Answer me!"
"to whatever is in that room behind you, i don't actually know
where are we anyway?"
: "You don't belong here."
: "You don't realize the situation you're in? Well, I guess not... You're only concerned with winning battles, nothing else."
that's kinda the object of the game, you sanctimonious primadonna <>
: "...Isn't that right, you who walk with the darkness!?"
"who do you even work for, my battalion was the only actually good one in the revolutionary army anyway"
: "This kingdom needs Sir Frederick. We can't allow those who are controlled by the Infernal Aura near him."
okay, one more
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN
: "For the revolution... For the kingdom... You must understand."
No, you guys don't get it! I'm not controlled by the Infernal Aura, I'm just a regular garden-variety asshole!
: "...So you're saying that I'm an enemy."
: "You still don't get it!? You're no different from the netherworlders! Did you think your might would rule for you!?"
It's worked so far!
: "We don't need people like you. Remember the suffering of the innocent!"
uh oh, shit's going down now
Freddie backs away and the screen fades to black. Whatever, in a real maximum hitler playthrough I'm sure Freddie could have killed the four of them without breaking a sweat.
Cut to later. Freddie is walking through the forest. Alone. Because he is an outcast. And that is where outcasts go.
: "Why!? Why did things turn out this way..."
"all i did was send people into villages whose personal habits were poorly matched to the local culture, none of my actual politics were any different at all
maybe i was slightly more of a fuckup in cutscenes, but that should be about it!"
A Voice: "He who places himself in battle is forced to battle against himself at all times..."
Don't forget, in this particular alternate reality we somehow managed to recruit all of the Zenobians despite being the most giant raging assholes the world had ever seen, through charisma and personal magnetism and threatening to stab Saradin in the nards. It was all very impressive; too bad you guys couldn't have seen it!
: "You took it too seriously, Freddie. You put your every effort into fighting, and... neglected everything else."
"speaking specifically here of matching unit leaders' alignment to the given town morale values, how hard could that possibly BE, this isn't rocket science buddy"
: "You're telling me... that my decisions were wrong...?"
: "They weren't wrong. But, they weren't right either."
"the main problem is that you didn't figure out this obscure game mechanic that was not made visible to you in any way whatsoever, that and you're a dick"
: "Let's go, Freddie. You can't fall apart yet. You must make the most of your talents. For that, there are things that you need to learn. Don't look away from this. Accept it for what it is! ...And start over. Freddie... come with us."
Okay, so I guess in this timeline, Destin adopts Freddie or something, and teaches him how not to be an asshole? He's, like, running a charm school now or what?
I think we've seen most of the rest of this already, but with Freddie off being Destin's apprentice in non-dickitude, it'll end differently. Let's see!
A few years later...
In a great battle that rocked the entire continent, King Frederick met with an untimely death. As a result of the unrelenting attacks by the eastern barbarian tribes, the history of Palatinus came to an end.
"kind of like ROME. Palatinus is like ROME, guys! Do you see the parallels we're drawing here yet? Should we maybe reinforce them a little bit more?"
...there was a young man in particular, who led the Revolutionary Army to victory. No one knows what became of him...
"...but he probably struck a Bad Dudes pose with this other revolutionary from another country in an empty hallway at least once in his life, because that would have been pretty rad"
Keep in mind that if you were playing this as a child when it first came out without the aid of the Internet, you don't know about the Chaos Frame. All you know is that you were playing this game about war, winning all the missions and generally being badass, and then you get to the end and suddenly everyone hates you, and the only reason they give you is that you "only cared about winning battles." What the fuck, right? I'm pretty sure I saw at least one angry letter to Nintendo Power complaining about this.
Fun little scene happens at the end of the credits when you earn yourself a Bad End. Let's take a gander.
I guess THIS is what happened when Danika got rid of Mari's body. She just kind of unceremoniously dumped it on the road somewhere. Not the classiest thing she's ever done. Mari is discovered by a Blonde Asshole who happens to be strolling by.
Wait. I killed all those guys. Except... no, don't tell me...
: "Oh, this isn't the last they'll hear of me."
Kerikov, why couldn't you run away to Fantasy Mexico or something like a good fugitive and leave me alone?
"i'll just namedrop this mysterious plot element for future games, and... oh my, a mysterious plot element for future games!"
Something's twitching around under Mari's dress. Is she alive, or what?
NO. NO FUCKING WAY. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.
DID ITS FUCKING EYES JUST TURN RED WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING
: "So this is the power of a god... This is the body that I've been searching for for so long. ...Now, I can begin."
i don't even
Oh, one more bit of food for thought: That demon baby containing Rashidi's mind is (probably) Yumil's son. That makes him the lawful heir to the throne of Palatinus. Think about THAT one.
NEXT TIME: I struggle to top this somehow, in the only remaining content this game has left.