Part 7: PyrotechnicsMusic: Machinist Kingdom
We've officialy begun the Standard History! Hurray!
With a flash of green, Stocke appears in Alistel's first ward.
(Our next destination is Granorg. Infiltrating enemy territory... I think it's safe to assume that this is an important mission. Depending on how things go, it may lead to an end to the war... ...... No... That's too much to think about right now. First, I need to meet with the agent at Lazvil Hills. Heiss said he'd be under the bridge... I should go and find Raynie and Marco. Where could they have gone?)
Raynie and Marco are at the bar, but there's sidequesting to be done, so screw them.
These two children are our first sidequest on the Standard History timeline.
"Please, mister! Can you save my dad?"
What's the problem?
"Our dad's a botanist, but he has this pained look on his face... Can you do something?"
Maybe the trouble of being a single parent of two while dealing with his job is starting to get to him. His meager salary as a botanist simply isn't enough to provide for a family of three, especially in this difficult time of war.
"He's run into some trouble in his research. We can't do anything about it. Please, mister!"
Or that, I guess.
I got it.
"Thanks, mister! My dad's in the house past here. I'm counting on you!"
The botanist's house is right at the top of those stairs.
"Indeed I am, but... I'm sorry my children bothered you."
Oh, I don't mind. Besides, if I don't know what "helping" entails, I don't know if I can help you. What can I do?
"Well... As you know, the desertification of this continent is a serious problem. The trees and plants are dying out one by one."
"But plants have a lot of potential. There are plants that will grow, even in the desert. What I want to know is how to grow conuts. I already have some Conut seeds, but I can't get them to sprout...
You would think a professional botanist would at least have a book with this information in it. Conuts are used for food, so I'm sure their growth must be well documented.
So you want me to find out how to make them grow? Do you have any hints?
"Conuts are grown in Cornet Village. I hear they sell them in Granorg... But I can't go off to Granorg during the war..."
All right. If I ever go there, I'll ask around.
"Thank you very much! I'll repay you for your effort, of course!"
Alright, there's one more sidequest we can start now, over near the bar.
"Listen! Ivan told me that I can play Princess Eruca instead of Queen Protea!"
Okay, I should explain this. I completely blanked on it earlier, but if we talked to this little girl when we were in town before, we would have learned that her and a friend are either putting on a play or playing make-believe or something like that. Unfortunately, this girl was cast as Queen Protea, and she was very unhappy about it.
"Princess Eruca is the princess of Granorg. All I know about her is that she's really beautiful! But there's something missing in order to play Princess Eruca... Could you do me a favor?"
Stocke is a friend to all children.
"Thanks! My name's Anna. It's so good to meet you. Listen, here's what I need... I heard that Princess Eruca's ring is a very popular piece in Granorg. If I'm going to be Princess Eruca, I think I should have her ring, too! If you ever go to Granorg, I'd like a little souvenir gift!"
I got it.
Anna: Ooh, you're so nice! Thank you! I heard you can buy that style of ring from the stores in Granorg. I'll be waiting for you!
Alright, now we've got a couple of errands to run while we're in Granorg. Let's go pick up Raynie and Marco and get going.
Raynie is waiting outside the bar for us.
Hey, Stocke! You're late. Were you talking with Heiss?
I was talking with Anna, actually, but nice guess.
It wasn't important.
Oh... Hey, Marco's still in the shop. I think he's got a lot of preparations to make.
How much booze is he buying? This is an important mission, we should probably try to stay sober.
What about you?
I've been waiting here for you! If I was in the shop too, you'd never find us!
I see. Sorry for the trouble.
I mean... It wasn't a hassle or anything... ......Sheesh.
Marco comes out of the bar now.
Sorry, were you waiting long?
What? Why are you so jumpy?
Okay... Say, Stocke, are we going to be going to Granorg right away?
If you want to get some equipment, you should do it now. Once we leave Alistel, we won't be able to go shopping for a while.
The screen pans over to the weapon shop, and then pans back.
I'll think about it.
Raynie and Marco rejoin our party. There's nothing left for us here in Alistel, so it's time to head for Lazvil Hills!
Music: Beyond the Wilderness
Upon entering, we just need to head west and down the nearby slope.
Is this near the place we're supposed to contact the agent?
Yeah. Man, where is he?
We might be on the wrong side of the bridge. Look.
Oh, there's a place underneath the other side too. Yeah, that side looks more likely. I don't think many people would pass by over there. Should we try going over there?
Yeah... Let's head south. We should be able to cross the river there.
Now seems like an appropriate time to talk about one of Radiant Historia's biggest problems. This is the third or fourth time we've crossed this land bridge since the game started a little over an hour ago, and it certainly won't be the last.
A lot of Radiant Historia's gameplay involves running through the same areas you've already been through multiple times. It's not a huge problem, but it can get to be tedious after awhile, especially since the enemies keep getting stronger as the story progresses, so you can't just blow through them if you fail to avoid battles. It's pretty clear that Radiant Historia was made on a tight budget, and this is one of the things they did to try and extend the gameplay length without spending too much money.
From now on I won't be going into much detail when passing through areas we've been through before, unless something significant has happened, or I feel like more details are necessary to understand what we're doing.
I hope so. I'll be annoyed if it was the other side after all. But no worries. If someone shows up over there, we can see them from here.
I don't see anyone yet...
Maybe we're too early?
No. We're late, in fact... ...Oh, well. Let's wait.
It's been three hours. He's awfully late.
Hey, Stocke! Why don't we go to Alma Mine instead of waiting around here for the agent?
W-Wait a second... Wouldn't that be a bad idea? Granted, Heiss said that the agent would be coming from the Alma Mine... But what if we accidentally missed each other?
Geez, you're such a pill. And what if the agent's in hot water at Alma Mine? Then we're really in trouble! If we go to him, maybe we could help out.
(I can see both sides... The question is, what's our priority right now? I have to think about this one carefully...)
Go to Alma Mine
There's no telling when the agent will be here. It's possible he's run into trouble. We should head to Alma Mine.
Hmm... It is rather worrying... All right, I'll go along with whatever you say, Stocke!
Then come on, let's go. The sooner the better!
Wh-What's going on here...?
Alma Mine... is burning?
How is such a fierce battle being waged here? What's going on, Marco?
I-I don't know. We can hardly meet the agent in the middle of all this! What should we do, Stocke!?
It's too late to get to Granorg by another route. Let's join the Alistel army and break through here.
Granorg's strategy was revealed. The plan was to strike at the Alma Mine and attack Alistel's flank. Stocke and the others waged a pitched battle against the Granorg forces there. Thier efforts drove Granorg back, but the victory was short-lived. Afterwards, Granorg rallied around Queen Protea and redoubled the war effort. Alistel fell to their powerful knights and was driven to the point of annihilation.
The Queen Ascendant
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
Despite Granorg's loss at Alma Mine... They seem to have become even stronger as a military with Queen Protea at the center.
How Queen Protea was able to accomplish this, and what you can do at Granorg... These things are yet to be revealed in the shadows of your choices.
Let's wait a while longer. This is the location he specified. Even if we do run into him at Alma Mine, he might not accept us as fellow agents. Remember, we left behind anything that might blow our covers.
Yeah... Well, if you say so. New plan! Keep waiting!
*sigh* You only ever listen to Stocke.
So? Or are you suddenly against this, Marc?
That's now what I meant!
????: Smart move. No wonder Heiss trusts you.
Informant: Sorry to have kept you waiting for so long. I didn't think it'd take this long to get here, but I had some trouble at Alma Mine. Hey... Have we met somewhere?
We met this guy at Alma Mine in the Alternate History. I believe he doesn't show up here if you start with Heiss, forcing you to meet him at Alma Mine in the Alternate History so he'll leave and come here.
I don't think so. But that aside, tell us what you've learned.
Informant: Ah, right, right. I have bad news. Granorg has gained control of the Sand Fortress.
Music: To the Battlefield
No...! Then how are we supposed to get to Granorg...? ...... Wait, how about Alma Mine? I've heard there's a secret path through it...
Informant: Yes, but it's no good. Granorg's strike force will be invading the Alma Mine shortly. They're operating on two fronts. It's the beginning of a full-scale attack by Granorg.
We kind of caught a glimpse of this strategy in a bad ending in the Alternate History.
What!? Then what do we do?
Informant: Go through the Sand Fortress anyway. The Sand Fortress and Alma Mine are equally dangerous, mind you. But if it's a choice between a battle that's over and one that's only going to get fiercer... Take the Sand Fortress. They're not guarding it much, anyway. Palomides of the Dias Knights has already gone home. That much you can count on.
Informant: Look, I'm not asking just the three of you to take back the Sand Fortress. All you need to do is slip through to the other side. You're Specint agents. Shouldn't that be second nature for you?
Heiss... He know this would happen. ...Understood. You're right. The Sand Fortress is the slightly better option. We'll go through there on our way to Granorg. Tell Heiss.
Informant: Will do. Once you've entered Granorg, you'll get your objective from another agent there. Good luck, and be careful.
The informant leaves, and we're given control.
We head south and then west, through the barricade where we learned to move boxes.
Music: Beyond the Wilderness
(What was that...?)
Suddenly, there's a bright flash.
(That means there's something new in the White Chronicle. But why here, of all places?)
We continue north, to the source of the scream.
Bram: Now give it up already!
Merchant: Ahh... I knew I should have sprung for armed escorts... But you'll have to kill me if you want this!
Bram: Hey now... It's just a job. And this job comes from a man who's real dark, like. Now, take a wild guess. What do ya suppose he wants us to do to anyone who tries to resist?
????: Bro, let's spare ourselves the trouble. Maybe we oughta just kill 'im?
Our party runs over and Stocke draws his sword.
End of the line, you two!
Bram: Who in the blazes are you!?
????: B-B-Bro! They look like soldiers from Alistel! I hope you've got a, uh, contingency plan...
Bram: Ha! Right then! You showing up just made this a smidge more interesting! You! You in the red! Let's go a round! Might be fun, eh?
????: B-Bro... ...Well, my mind's made up. I'll cover you, Bro!
Bram: Well met, Hertz! You're my partner to the last! Here goes!
Boss: The Desert Crows
Music: The Edge of Green
These guys hit harder than any other enemy we've faced so far (excluding Palomides, of course.) but they're not a big threat.
My strategy for this fight was to use Marco's Grapple to pull Hertz into Bram, and then smashing both of them with Stocke and Raynie's most powerful attacks.
Bram and Hertz's attacks deal about 60 damage, give or take 10 damage or so, and Hertz is capable of inflicting Guard Break. Bram can boost his stats with Kiai, which can turn him into a real threat if you don't manage to kill him quickly afterwards.
I did not manage to kill him before he got another attack off after casting Kiai, and this was the result. This was especially upsetting because I actually drained his entire HP bar (you can see it in the video), but he must have survived with just 1 HP or something.
Bram: I didn't expect to be knocked on me arse quite so fast. You there, Red guy. What's your name?
Brame: Well, it won't be a name I'll forget anytime soon! Hertz! The failure stings now, but the next gig'll be better! You and I, we gotta buck up!
Hertz: Aye, aye, Bro! I'll follow you to the end o' the world!
Bram and Hertz flee.
Music: To the Future that Awaits Ahead
*sigh* What an annoying duo. But at least we got the job done.
Think nothing of it. We were just passing by.
Tarquin: Well, the name's Tarquin, and it's a good thing my explosives are safe. I'm in your debt. I'm on my way to Alma Mine, and thanks to you, I'll make it there alive.
The mine? Are you the one with supplies for the Alistel army?
Tarquin: Yes. I'm told they needed to blow the entrance to Alma Mine or something... That's why they need my explosives.
Tarquin: Hm? Are you interested in learning how these work? Well, the least I can do is teach you the art of explosives. Who knows? It could come in handy for you someday.
Maybe you're right. Let's hear it.
Bombs, huh? Sounds like fun.
Tarquin: Okay, listen close...
I see. That's interesting.
Tarquin: Yep. If you can utilize it, you could blow up a small rock or two, that's for sure.
Way to go, Stocke. That's a good skill to have. But it's not really my style, y'know?
...... Yeah, everyone's inept at some thing or another.
What's that supposed to mean!? I'm just too lazy to memorize those instructions! That's all! It's not like I COULDN'T do it! Got that!?
Tarquin: ...... Well then, friends, I should be on my way. I bid you farewell. By the way, I usually run my business in a desert town called Skalla. If you're ever in the area, I do hope you'll come visit.
We'll see what we can do. Let's go.
If we head west, we can cross the Lazvil Hills.
(Hopefully this rectifies the situation, allowing that merchant to reach Alma Mine... Should I stay in this timeline, or should I head back to the other to see for myself? I better decide soon.)
We've learned to use explosives, now. For some inexplicable reason, all explosives are contained in barrels, and all barrels contain explosives. We can move barrels around, and then detonate them to blow up debris, enemies, or ourselves. We'll be making heavy use of this skill.
We also unblocked the Alternate History, so we can go back and continue that story whenever we please. I'll be sticking with the Standard History for now, though. It won't be long until we're forced to go back to the Alternate History, anyway.
We head south and exit Lazvil Hills. Next stop: Judgement Cliff.