Part 2: Lazvil HillsMusic: Beyond the Wilderness
Upon entering Lazvil Hills, we're thrusted straight into a cutscene.
Most likely. Now's our chance to hurry onward.
Oh, well in that case...
Raynie takes a few steps forward.
I know a shortcut!
Oh... You're talking about the path near the river?
That's the one. We used to use it all the time.
The Granorg army would be less likely to spot us on that path, too.
Hey, Stocke. Marc and I can lead the way from here.
We're eager to show you how useful we can be.
...Good enough. Lead the way.
Will do! C'mon, follow us!
Raynie and Marco run ahead, and Stocke follows.
Stocke follows Marco down the slope.
In front of you! Look out!
The monster charges at Raynie and Marco
Music: Blue Radiance
We're put into our first battle, now. The top screen shows the turn order, and our party's stats are displayed across the bottom of the bottom screen. Our commands are self-explanatory, aside from Change, which I'll explain in detail later.
Radiant Historia has a unique grid-based battle system. Our party is stationary, but enemies can freely move around a 3x3 grid. Enemies that are closer to the party take more damage, but deal more damage as well. Some of our skills can move enemies around the grid, as well. Stocke currently knows Push Assault, which pushes an enemy back (our left) until it hits an obstacle, or the end of the grid. I'll talk more about this later.
We can also see our current target's HP at the bottom. You can't see their total HP in numbers, but you can guess at how much they have based on how much of their bar depletes when you attack. You guys can't see it, but when you highlight an enemy, all of its turns are highlighted on the top screen as well, so you can tell which enemy turn is which.
The number in the corner is our combo length. The more attacks your party makes in a row on a single enemy, the higher your combo goes. As your combo gets longer, your attacks get stronger, so it's a good idea to make your combos as long as possible.
So you guys can fight.
Naturally. You realize we used to be mercenaries.
We might not be up to your level, but we're no slouches.
Is that so?
So you can trust us to do our share, y'know. People on a mission together ought to be able to trust each other with their lives. I hope we can get to that point.
...So do I, actually.
It seems the wind's picking up.
It does look like it's gonna rain, now that you mention it.
Let's hurry to the rendezvous.
Our party heads south, the music stops, and the camera pans north as it begins to rain...
It's started to rain.
????: It will make our raid on Alistel all the easier, High Colonel Dias.
Indeed. Still... This cacophonous deluge will let us go undetected, but it benefits the enemy just as well. Do not limit your focus to your own situation.
????: Yes, Sir...
????: Are you concerned because of the tip we received?
...Conditions are ideal for vermin to be scurrying about.
????: Worry not, Sir. I am Palomides the Executioner... I shall crush any vermin beneath my heel.
Hmm... I have lofty expectations of you.
Palomides: I will not allow control of the situation to slip away, Sir. Be at ease in commanding the operation, High Colonel Dias...
So I shall. Still... The threat of vermin... I care not for it at all...
Well, he's not here. Think he's dead?
Don't jump to conclusions.
Why don't we wait for a bit?
But if we don't hurry, they'll invade Alistel! Then I can scratch one more place to call home...
"Call home"? Do you mean Alistel...?
We told you earlier that we used to be mercenaries, yes?
I don't see any reason to try and hide it. He should know.
Anyway, yes, we once belonged to a mercenary troop. But one day, our entire force was annihilated. Raynie and I are the only survivors. It was after that when Heiss took us in.
Heiss did that...?
Heiss was really nice to us. This is what he said... "You survived, which marks you as necessary to this history. Come with me, and let us write history together... History as it should be." That's why Marc and I are here.
"Write History," eh?
Hello, what's that I see...? Someone's coming... It must be our spy!
Wait... Something's wrong...
Music: Impending Crisis
Hell...! He's being pursued! Aren't those Granorg soldiers!?
We have to save him!
Our party runs to the south.
"Dammit! I can't shake them!"
"You're not getting out of this alive, Alistel spy!"
Are you all right?
Heiss' Messenger: Y-You... A swordsman in red...! You're...!
Relax. We're on your side.
"There he is! Over there!"
Stay low and hide behind us! Raynie! Marco! The spy's life takes priority!
The spy runs to cover and we draw our weapons as the Granorg soldiers run into the area.
Granorg Soldier: It doesn't matter! However many of them come, they're no match for us! I hope you're ready for us, Alistellian dogs!
Now we're up against three Granorg soldiers. I'll take this opportunity to go into more detail on moving our enemies around, and why it's useful.
As you can see by the arrow beneath the target, Push Assault will push the enemy back, toward the left side of the grid.
Since there was another enemy behind our target, the target landed on top of the rear enemy. For the remainder of our combo, our attacks will hit both enemies, since they're occupying the same space. After our combo ends, the target will move on space in the direction we pushed it from, because enemies can't normally occupy the same space.
Upon winning this battle, we hit level 2 and learn some new skills. Left Assualt is like Push Assault, but it moves the enemy to Stocke's left. (Toward the bottom row of the grid, from our point of view.)
I thought something like this might happen, so I brought medicine just in case! This is my last bottle...
Everyone recovered full HP and MP.
Heiss' Messenger: ...You're a real white knight. Thank you.
That's what we're for. So, then. Are you alone? What's become of your escort?
Heiss' Messenger: Dead. They've advanced much faster than we expected. Truth to tell, I didn't think I'd survive this far. I'd begun to despair that the intel we recovered would never make it into the right hands...
You learned a lot about their armaments, correct?
Heiss' Messenger: Yep... I even have detailed plans for the operation they're undertaking right now. If I can just get these back home... Well...
Got it. We'll escort you the rest of the way to Alistel.
Well, well... Looks like the first stage of our mission's complete.
It'll be hard going from here on, though... Our route home runs straight through the bulk of Granorg's army.
Don't forget about the ones on our heels, either.
"There's been no word from the detachment that went on ahead! He must've escaped into Lazvil Hills... Find him!"
We need to go. You two take point. I'll bring up the rear. Don't let them get the drop on you.
Leave it to us! Let's go, Raynie!
Hey, we're already putting out lives in each other's hands. See? That didn't take long.
Apparently not. Now move.
Raynie and Marco headed east, so we follow them.
Which way? North, or should we try our luck down south? If you ask me, passing over the northern bridge would be the fastest way.
Heiss' Messenger: No, we can't go north. The enemy will already be there in force. It may take longer, but we should pass through the south.
Then I suggest the path near the river we took coming here.
Yeah. That'd be safer--
Arrows fly in from the south, and one hits the spy.
I-I can't believe they ambushed us here...
Stocke runs in from the west.
Later! Be on guard for the next attack! I'll hunt for the sniper!
Stocke runs to the south and readies his sword.
Stocke pauses, then relaxes and looks around.
He got away. His objective must have been only to kill the spy.
Stocke takes a few steps forward, and then looks to the east.
A blockade!? The Granorg army must have put this up... Something's wrong about this. They're too well prepared... ...I should head back to the others.
Music: Where the Wind and Feathers Return
...The spy's already dead, I see.
Then... We've failed, haven't we...?
I shoulda been more careful!
Snap out of it! Stay on task! Beating yourself up because the mission failed will only get you killed! We have an obligation to report this turn of events. Don't you want to protect your homeland?
...Stocke's right. We need to at least tell them what happened here.
Yeah... Let's go!
The south route is blockaded. We'll never get through. Our only choice is to head north.
B-But... The spy said that the enemy was already clustered up north...
There's just no other way.
Guess we'll have to break through some enemy lines...
That's right. Brace yourselves.
Music: Impending Crisis
There's no reason to check out the south, so we go north.
You're kidding me! How'd they find us already!? Weren't they on their way up north?
No. This is a different unit. They must be part of the forces sent to hunt the spy...
Th-That's right... They'll be coming from behind us, too. What should we do, Stocke? Should we run for now?
No... We'll end up flanked by the force headed north. We need to deal with them here.
We run south and prepare to engage the enemy.
I'm sure we can take those guys with Stocke's help!
We'll have to try, at any rate.
Yeah... Get ready.
This is our last tutorial battle, so I'll take this opportunity to explain the last mechanic I have yet to explain, Change.
When you pick the Change option, you can trade your turn with any other character's turn, ally or enemy. This is how you set up larger combos, because you rarely get a setup that offers more than a 3 hit combo when relying on your speed stat to set your turn order up.
You may notice that Stocke is bright red in the above screenshot. A drawback to changing the turn order is that you take extra damage until your turn comes up. When Stocke's turn comes, he'll regain his color and his defense will return to normal.
Video: Battle Example
It can be hard to put the game's battle system into words, so I recorded this video as an example.
To summarize what was going on in that battle, I used the Change command to give Stocke two turns in a row, then used Left Assault to push all the enemies onto one space, so that I could finish them all at once. The first Left Assault moved the top enemy into the middle enemy, and the second moved them both onto the last enemy, where Marco and Raynie finished them all off.
After the battle, we're able to head north. Alistel is east from here, but there's a cave to check out along the way.
And there'll be even more roaming ahead. Careless fighting will only put us at a greater disadvantage. Let's knock them out and find a way through. Okay... Let's go!
Have you guys been wondering about that sword in the corner of the screen?
When we press the Y Button, Stocke swings his sword. We haven't had any reason to do this so far, but now there's a very important use for it.
If we beat an enemy with our sword for a bit, it'll knock them out. Once they're knocked out, we can either leave, or engage them in battle for a Preemptive attack, giving our party a huge boost when the initial turn order is determined.
Heading east from here, we cross a bridge and enter a cutscene.
Music: To the Battlefield
It's High Colonel Dias... And Palomides the Executioner!
Alistel's rats should be passing right through here... Looks like our man was telling the truth.
Stocke, this is a problem! If we have to fight our way past them, it's hopeless!
Don't go saying that! What choice do we have!?
Palomides: High Colonel, please, leave the rest to me. There's no need for you to dirty your own hands here.
No, there isn't. I leave them to you. I'm off to inspect the lines one last time before the invasion. I want them dealt with by the time I return.
Palomides: You're cornered, little rats.
Stocke! I'll stall him, but you need to get out of here!
Raynie, don't be--
You said it yourself just a minute ago! Someone needs to warn Alistel of what's happening here!
It's true... Raynie's right. And no one's more likely to succeed at the task than you, Stocke.
Something's not quite right with that Palomides guy...
Enough! That's an order!
Go, Stocke! You need to do this! I'll be damned if I stand by and watch more of my comrades die for nothing!
Palomides: Hmph... A spirited girl, this. But do you truly believe that you can best me? Learn for yourself why I am called the Executioner...
Palomides immediately stabs both Raynie and Marco, killing each of them in one hit.
Palomides: Hahahahah! Pathetic... You're far too weak! Is this the best Alistel can send against me!? And now your turn... Try and at least put up a decent fight! Though you'll die like the rat you are regardless...!
I attempt to fight back, but only manage to deal 1 point of damage to Palomides. Damn.
I missed the screenshot, but those sixes are all from the archers in the back. Palomides dealt about 1200 damage to me. Damn.
Ngh... I can't fail here...
Palomides: It's useless to try escaping!
Palomides pursues Stocke and the battle ends.
Palomides: Loud though your cries may be, they won't penetrate the veil. The dead can't hear you now.
Palomides: Yet in the end, their sacrifice will be for nothing... An only too appropriate end for the rats of Alistel!
Ngh... I swear, Palomides!
Palomides: What's that? You still believe you can best me? You needn't bother... You'll be rejoining your comrades soon enough. Or you could look to the Prophet Noah you rabble believe in so blindly... Pray to him with all your heart!
Damn, we're surrounded!
(What do I do...? How can I possibly live through this...?)
Palomides: ...Here is my prophecy. You will die here! That is your fate! An ignominious death, forgotten to history! A history that will be written by Granorg!
(No... It's too soon! I can't let it end like this!)
Stocke puts his sword away.
Palomides: Have you finally fiven up?
(There's only one way out... Here goes!)
Palomides: Th...This is absurd...!
Stocke leaps into the air, off the edge of the bridge.