Part 16: Disc 3, Part 2The next morning, Edge makes his way back through the Holy District to Vaiman's house, in order to gain information about Mel-Kava and get back on track to finding the Tower.
When he arrives, he notices that Vaiman seems quite pleased with himself - no doubt the vote in last night's council went his way.
Vaiman: Ah, welcome.
Yes, I know. The legendary kindling of the Guardian Fire is inside the sanctuary. Here is the key to the sanctuary.
I shall give this to you. We have no need for it anymore.
The Temple Key? Access to the kindling for the Guardian Fire? How will all of that help? Edge needs information regarding the location of Mel-Kava, not access to some magical monster force field.
And wait a minute, why is Vaiman so eager to give up the key? Isn't the Guardian Fire the reason that Zoah stays protected from the monsters? What new scheme does he have in mind?
Vaiman: Now, I have an offer for you. How would you like to be the guardian of this town? You will be recognized as one of the chosen champions. Do you want this honored position?
*Now* Edge gets it. The Guardian Fire is expendable because now, he is going to protect Zoah from danger. Edge doesn't like the sound of this one bit, but with Vaiman in the position of power that he is and knowing what he does about Roderick, Edge doesn't have much choice in the matter.
Edge: All right... But I don't want you to become dependent on me. I don't plan to stay in this town forever.
Vaiman: Very well, but...if there is an emergency, I must ask you to follow my orders. Of course, I shall reward you based on your work. I hope we can help each other, Edge.
Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever. Edge glumly takes his "reward" and heads for the church,
where the Guardian Fire isn't even active during the day (and it's really not even fire, just another device from the Ancient Age adapted for the present day). Depressed and feeling incredibly used, Edge bums around Zoah until evening, when he returns to the Sanctuary.
The Guardian Fire does not seem any more spectacular lit than it does inactive, and Edge is thoroughly unimpressed. How is this supposed to help him find the Tower, or destroy Mel-Kava? In utter despair, he leans forward against the device itself...and the moment he touches it, something completely unexpected happens.
A vision of a gigantic ship, flying through a foggy, smoldering sky, suddenly appears in his brain.
Somehow, he knows it to be true. Furthermore...
Edge: It's located to the north of Zoah. No...it's moving...
And then, with a shock, he sees something on the horizon, behind the massive ship:
When he comes to, Edge finds himself lying flat on his back in the Sanctuary, with a concerned Paet crouched over him. Edge tells Paet about the vision, and Paet tries touching the artifact himself, to no avail. Edge has no time to waste, however, and leaving a puzzled Paet scratching his head, he dashes out of town, mounts Roderick, and flies north to where Mel-Kava lies waiting.
I guess it seemed smaller during the vision Edge had.
Edge: How do I destroy it? This isn't going to be easy.
As Edge flies ever closer to the "God's Carriage", he is attacked by several squads of automated defenses that seem to be common to Ancient Age weaponry - Lazara, primarily. Pushing past the inferior opponents and finally seeing the monstrous ship up close, he realizes that "To demolish this thing, I'll have to attack it from the inside!"
Approaching the bow of the ship, Edge is suddenly attacked by a Photon Cannon that slides out of a compartment on the ship's underside. Edge figures that, like everything else he's encountered, this piece of machinery will bow before Roderick's lasers as well, but a barrier similar to the dragon's own Shield power encases the cannon and Edge cannot damage it at all.
It's no use! I must retreat. There's got to be a way to get rid of that barrier!
Figuring that the mechanism for generating the barrier may be inside the ship somewhere, Edge enters through a dragon-sized opening and proceeds down a hallway.
I'm in. Now I can stop this thing.
Fighting enemies here and there, Edge reaches the end of this particular passage,
and figures that if you're looking for something that you want to destroy, and suddenly a defense system pops up around something else, it's probably the thing you were looking for in the first place.
The defense system, such as it is, is not very difficult. Roderick's lock-on lasers go right around those revolving plates to its weak point,
and soon enough the generator is destroyed, with Edge and Roderick successfully hightailing it out ahead of the shock wave.
With the barrier down, Edge is able to slip around to the back side of the Photon Cannon and destroy it, opening up a pathway to the ship's reactor.
It's emitting light particles...Is this the center of it!?
Either way, there's only one thing to do - destroy it!
With the reactor out of the way, Edge flies through the hole left in its wake (can you sense a theme here?), coming out in a long corridor blocked by a huge cone-shaped object.
It's still emitting light particles! Wasn't the last one the power source?
Regardless, whatever that thing was, it's blown up now. Unfortunately, after rising above through the new hole in the shield and on to the deck, Edge sees that there are many more of the cone-shaped Light Energy reactors still to destroy.
There are still a lot of 'em! These are all...the same?
Instead of having to physically blow up the rest of the reactors, Edge finds himself able to blow the armor off the containment systems arranged on the deck, and then blow the systems themselves. Once the systems on either side of the reactors are destroyed, the reactors themselves collapse and explode. Edge and Roderick work their way to the bridge, destroying everything they come across, and yet the great ship is still in the air.
It's still flying...I thought I destroyed the reactor!
Passing through another hole that Roderick created in the bridge, Edge finally finds the last piece of the puzzle that is Mel-Kava.
This looks familiar.
Oh, so there is *two* of them...
At any rate, Destroying this one should do it!, which Edge does easily,
using Roderick's superior speed to escape the blast radius of the exploding ship. With Mel-Kava finally out of the way, the fog that has shrouded the Tower for so long is gone, and Edge is ecstatic.
The fog has cleared! I can finally reach the Tower!
Oh, no. Looks like destroying Mel-Kava was enough to get Azel all riled up again.
Azel: Why did you do that!?
Edge: Azel, I just...
Azel: I have already told you. If you stand in his way, you die.
Edge: Wait, Azel!!
But it is far too late to reason with her, and Atolm opens fire. "There must be a way to shoot down Atolm without hurting her," Edge ponders, and the third and final battle with Atolm begins.
This time around, Atolm has a pair of very large apparatus attached to his front...
and Edge quickly discovers just what the apparatus is for. Fortunately, there was a split second when the radar turned from green to red to let Edge know the attack was coming, and he dodged just in time to make the attack miss completely.
With an adroit combination of dodging Atolm's new attack and hitting his weak spot when he can, Edge manages to take down the enemy dragon...
only to have him rise again in his old form, with a new twist - this time, the orbs have shields!
Fortunately, the orbs are not all shielded at once, and with patience, in addition to the speed and power of his faithful dragon that he has become accustomed to, Edge manages to destroy the orbs, swing around to Atolm's rear, and pump enough devastating lock-on volleys into him...
to finally knock the black dragon out of the sky for good.
Roderick begins to morph again with the passing of his mighty rival...
and while Edge is always excited to feel the dragon change form beneath him into a more powerful version of himself, making him more effective at keeping both of them alive...
he can't help but be worried about the fact that Azel is beginning to plummet to the earth along with her dragon...
and he has absolutely no time to lose!
Azel is overwhelmed as her mount begins to fall, and with a booming cry of "Azel!!", Edge points Roderick at the ground and speeds after the two of them.
After breaking through the clouds, Edge sees the speed at which Azel is falling, and knows that his margin for error is nonexistent.
Fortunately for all concerned, as he previously did in the elevator shaft at Uru, Roderick encases Azel in a protective globe of light, which safely pulls her away from the falling Atolm...
and allows the dragon to safely float her into Edge's waiting arms.
Azel is unconscious, and Edge has no idea how to care for her - she's not even human! No doctor would be able to help her...in fact, he can think of only one person who might have enough knowledge of the Ancient Age and their technology to help - Paet. With that in mind, he turns Roderick towards Zoah, but as he clears a cliff and approaches the town, he notices something in the sky to the north that shouldn't be there.
Edge has never seen anything like it - its size is nearly too massive to even comprehend. Even from this distance, Edge can clearly make out the Imperial insignia emblazoned proudly on the front of the huge ship.
What is that thing!? Those bastards!
Too far away to do anything, Edge can do nothing but watch as the Imperial insignia splits open, revealing a huge cannon barrel...
which explodes in the fiercest beam of power it has ever been Edge's misfortune to witness...
as it rips through Zoah like a buzzsaw...
exploding in a massive fireball.
The blast radius is big enough to toss Roderick about like a rag doll, his shield the only thing saving them from total incineration...
...the town of Zoah, however, was not so lucky.