Part 3: HistoriaLast time, stuck between a rock and a hard place, Stocke leapt off a bridge, most likely to an early demise.
Palomides: Did he expect to survive with those wounds? In this current? I ought to report this to the High Colonel.
"Yes Sir! But... Do you think we'll find anything?"
Palomides: If you don't, we can assume he died and his corpse was swept away. If he did somehow live, then he can't go far... Seize him at once.
Palomides turns and looks into the river.
Palomides: But no, I expect he's dead.
The screen fades to black.
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
Is this it... for me...? Raynie... Marco...
There's a flash of white, and two familiar people appear.
Stocke glows and vanishes, and the screen fades to white.
Where...? Am I dead...?
You've come, keeper of the White Chronicle.
Welcome, Stocke. We've been expecting you.
A pair of children...? Who are you?
It's as we feared, my sister.
Yes... But we knew it would be thus.
I asked a question.
I am Lippti.
And I am Teo.
And this is...?
We are in Historia. A world in time's gulf, created by the power of Flux...
You were summoned here as the rightful holder of the White Chronicle.
The...? The White Chronicle? What about it? ...What does this all mean?
The White Chronicle is an ancient artifact imbued with Flux and given dominion over time...
The wielder of the White Chronicle has finally awakened. The door to Historia has been opened.
...None of this makes sense.
I didn't think you'd understand. Your confusion is only natural.
Calm yourself and assess your current problems one at a time.
Right... My problems...
...That's right! What's happened to me? The last thing I remember is facing Palomides and...
...... You failed in your mission. Your comrades are dead, and you fell at Palomides' hands...
Yes... I remember now... I was powerless to save Raynie and Marco. This is exactly why I didn't want a command... I don't need any partners! It's all because I told them to head north... Dammit!
Your assessment is correct.
But don't you see? Your crucial error was choosing to head north at that moment.
That was the place and the time where history was decided. But you hadn't the strength to make the correct decision... That is why you came to such a tragic end.
So... Had we fled south...
Yes! You begin to see.
But what of it!? There's nothing to be done now... Besides, there was a blockade to the south. Going north was our only real choice. It seems to me that our fate was decided already.
Indeed, Stocke. You recognize the truth of your situation. Had you changed your assumption you would have found a way to survive.
...What are you getting at?
I'll skip to the end, Stocke, holder of the White Chronicle. The power has been given to you to decide the world's fate. You can change the past and rewrite history the way it should be.
You must discern the correct decisions from the cornucopia of possibilities... Create a chain of decisions that will guide history to its true conclusion...
Stocke... You can reenact the past with the White Chronicle.
Don't mock me... What's done is done! The past is fixed... What you suggest is impossible!
Maybe you'll understand once you've tried it for yourself.
This... isn't a joke!?
Quite the contrary. It seems seeing is believing for you... Haven't you wished for something like this before? "If only I could go back and do it over again..." We sympathize with this devout wish and hope to grant it.
...... Then I'll ask one more time... Will this let me save Raynie and Marco?
If that is what is meant to occur, then... Yes.
Now go, Stocke. Do what you must.
Raynie... Marco... it won't be long now. I'll save you both!
Stocke climbs a bizarre series of staircases, forwards, backwards, sideways and upside down, before running through a door.
Stocke falls to his knees.
Ungh... These wounds... Are these the ones Palomides gave me...? Then I wasn't dreaming! Have I really returned to the past...? Where is everyone...?
Stocke looks to the east.
Heads up, it's a crossroads. 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.
Wait a moment... Wasn't this about when-- No!
Music: Impending Crisis
Stocke runs to the others.
Get down! Now!
Stocke pushes the spy to the ground, and arrows fly over his head.
Bowmen! W-We're under fire!
Raynie turns to the spy.
Are you okay!?
Heiss' Messenger: Y-Yeah... I don't know how, but I'm fine...
Whew. All right, on your feet!
The camera pans south.
Granorg Soldier: F-Fall back! Let's leave the cleanup to the forces up north!
The soldiers run to the south and vanish, despite the blockade.
After this, the camera pans back up to our party.
We're in trouble... They know what we've been up to!
Any suggestions, Stocke?
(This is when I led us north to our demise... Well, not this time!)
We go south! Follow me! I promise you, this time we'll make it back to Alistel together!
"This time"...? Uh... Well, aye aye, Stocke!
We run south to check out the blockade.
Barricades! Figures they'd block off the roads.
I doubt even all of us working together could budge these. Maybe we should head north after all?
(We go north, and we're all dead men again. But how do we get past these barricades...? Is this really a dead end? Is north the only way?)
(They're not tools! I'll bring them back at any cost! But...)
The screen flashes white.
Music: The Melody that Connects the World
What the-- You!
Hello, Stocke. How does it feel to be back in time? Alas, you've reached a dead end on this side... Both histories are giving you trouble.
But there is a way past the dead end. We'll give you the power to break through.
Superhuman strength flows through Stocke's body!
What was that...?
We granted you a small portion of our power.
This is no longer a dead end to you. The other possibility that was once blocked... A different history is about to unfold.
If you sift through the various possibilities, you'll surely find the means to survive. Let us meet again in a time beyond these possibilities.
Lippti and Teo vanish in a flash of white.
Hey, snap to it, Stocke... You drifted off there. What's wrong?
Did you come up with a plan?
...In a way. We move the barricades and press on.
Leave it to me.
Music: Impending Crisis
We've gained the ability to move boxes around! Even though Stocke can now do what two adults and a child-sized adult can't accomplish together, his in-battle stats don't go up at all...
Now we could continue east, but there's something we need to do up north, first...
The Bronze Mail is a slight upgrade over our current armor. Stocke, Raynie and Marco can all equip this, so I put it on Marco, who has the smallest DEF stat.
After grabbing that chest, I go back to the south and cross the barricade.
Granorg Soldier: Wasn't the plan to drive them towards the bridge!? They'll get away clean if they break through here! We have to stop them cold!
Now we're up against three Granorg Soldiers. A new mechanic is introduced in this battle.
Some enemy groups can move into special formations. Enemies that are in a formation get a circle underneath them, and they can do special combination attacks. The three of them all attacked at once and dealt about 20 damage each.
To break a formation, you can either push an enemy into a different spot, or kill one.
(I'll be able to return everyone home alive...!)
Stocke continues east, and we automatically return to the entrance of Lazvil Hills.
Music: To the Future that Awaits Ahead
I recognize the landscape. Alistel is just up ahead!
The spy walks onscreen from the south.
Heiss' Messenger: I can't believe I got out of there alive... It feels like I'm dreaming. I owe you three a lot. Thanks.
No need for that. Just hurry... and get the intel to Heiss...
Heiss' Messenger: Will do. The information I got will finally let us mount a counteroffensive!
The spy heads north.
Another one in the win column for us!
Sure enough. But more than that... You were incredible, Stocke! You saw right through the enemy's trap and even moved the barricade all on your own!
Yeah. If it wasn't for you, I doubt any of us would still be standing.
Heh... I can hardly believe it myself...
Once we've reported in to Heiss, why don't we celebrate together?
Ooh, great idea! Marc's buying!
Wh-What!? I never said--
Hahaha! Got you!
(I changed history... So... This is the way history should have gone...)
Stocke falls to his knees.
(Urgh... I'm hurt bad... I can barely stand...)
C'mon, Stocke. We should--
H-Hey! Stocke! What the...!? Where'd those wounds come from!?
Did he protect us somewhere while we weren't looking?
He's too far gone for a quick-fix spell... He needs a doctor! C'mon, Stocke. Take my shoulder! Marc! Help us out here!
R-Right...! I'm too short to lend a shoulder, but I'll do what I can!
A-Are you two...safe...?
Yeah, Stocke, we're fine. See? No holes in me. It's all thanks to you...
Stocke! Hey, hang in there!
The screen starts to fade, and Stocke loses consciousness.
He's passed out...
Let's move it, Marc!
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
Welcome back, Stocke. That seems to have gone well.
Because you altered the past, the course of history has changed.
That's right... I did change the past. I have to thank you. It's because of you that I could save everyone.
It was not our doing. It was the power of the White Chronicle.
Are you and the White Chronicle separate entities?
You could call us guides of Historia. It is our duty to teach the Chronicle's wielder the proper usage of the book.
I'm not concerned with how to use it at the moment... What I want to know is, how did there come to be something that can change history? With this, I can go freely back and forth in time, changing history as much as I like. I'm not sure something like this should exist at all.
There's a slight error in your phrasing. Even the holder of the White Chronicle can't move "freely" around in time.
The points in the timestream that you are capable of returning to are fixed. The best way to describe them would be as pivotal moments in history. You can travel to these pivotal moments and get a second chance to act. But you cannot change and parts of history that aren't directly related to those moments. The White Chronicle's power is considerable, but it too has its limitations.
Then it's not all-powerful.
No. That would be much too dangerous. If power on that scale were to be misused, there would be no means of stopping it. That is why the creator of the Chronicle placed restrictions on its use.
Interesting. So... How will I know which moments I'm capable of returning to?
You won't have to do anything out of the ordinary. They'll appear naturally as you go about your life. We'll inform you as well when these moments occur. There is one important principle though. These moments will be born of your experiences.
So I can't access a moment in history whre I wasn't present.
That's right. We should also discuss your injuries. You changed history so that you never fought Palomides, yet your wounds did not disappear. There is a reason for this. There are two types of time. One the whole world experiences, and one limited to you. Even though you alter the world's time, your own time will not be reversed.
Ah. So the wounds don't disappear because, from my perspective, they still happened.
You are correct. You may redo a moment as many times as you like... But should you be slain, you will never be able to change things. Remember this well.
In that case, there's a favor we'd like to ask of you.
We ask that you not speak of the White Chronicle to anyone... No matter how close your ties to them may be.
Nothing good can come of the Chronicle's existence being known.
If people were to find out about this power, they'd fight over it... Is that what you mean? All right. But what about the original owner? I got the White Chronicle from my superior. It's hard to believe he doesn't know about all this.
Even so, you mustn't speak of it. We... cannot tell you why.
What are you hiding...?
I'm sorry, but... We can't tell you that either. There is a good reason for it. One of the restrictions on the Chronicle is that we aren't allowed to side with anyone.
Some secrets must be kept in order to protect you... That is the most we can divulge right now. Though we will guide you... You must be the one who decides to change history.
You're understandably suspicious, but... The world requires your power. Make no mistake about that.
Please, Stocke... We'll do the best we can to guide you along the way.
...There's still a lot that's hard to believe, and you're still hiding something. But I'll play along for now. I'll use the White Chronicle to change history, and not breathe a word of it to anyone. How's that?
Thanks. I'm glad you agree.
Well then, Stocke. Until we meet again...
Stocke climbs the bizarre staircase again, and the screen fades away to white...