Part 9: Alma MineMusic: Shadows Dance in the Darkness
Since the Standard History route is blocked, we return to Alma Mine in the Alternate History.
We were stuck here because the mine's entrance is blocked by rocks, and the merchant who was meant to deliver the explosives never arrived. We saved the merchant's life in the other timeline, so he'll manage to make the delivery this time.
But first, we need to turn around and leave the mine immediately. We have business in Alistel.
Hand it over
Here, then. You should use these.
Handed over Anti-Sleep x2.
"Really? Thanks! Oh, here! You can have this!"
Obtained Alistel Edge.
"No snoring on the job tonight! Fantastic!"
We've resolved the event Night Watch, and got a pretty good sword out of the deal.
Now that we're done with that, let's head back to Alma Mine!
No, let's send out scouts. We can't ignore the possibility that the forces coming here are just a diversion. It would be more prudent to strike swiftly than to engage them in a prolonged ambush.
You're right. It would be foolish to think they'd dispatch their entire army to Alma Mine.
And the merchant can't be far.
You seem confident of that. Very well... Kiel! Select a few men from the brigade to do a thorough search of the area! The merchant could be close, but he more than likely got lost.
Sir, yes Sir!
Kiel leaves, and the screen fades out...
Even faster than I thought. Stocke was right on the money. Now we can go in!
(So despite being separate, this is how the two timelines affect each other...)
"We'll blow up the entrance and move in immediately. Stay back and take cover. Permission to detonate, Captain?"
Permission granted, soldier.
The explosives are set, and everyone moves to a safe distance.
(Now the mission can proceed. The interference of the other Chronicle's owner has been thwarted... Which means history is playing out one step closer to its proper course. But that doesn't mean it won't be tampered with again... If so, I'll have to use the same trick to circumvent his schemes.)
We have reason to believe that Granorg's forces are infiltrating this mine. Our job is to find and annihilate them.
"Captain! Do we know how many there are?"
They won't be able to send a huge force into a cramped mine, so I doubt there's too many of them. But don't let your guard down. This will be your first battle.
"We'll be okay! The Prophet Noah is watching over us! The heathen soldiers of Granorg can't beat us! Right, guys!?"
"Yeah! We're the pure, melted snow! We'll wash them away, lickety-split! Long live the Prophet Noah! Long live General Hugo! Long live Alistel!"
(They're whipped into a frenzy... I wonder how many of them I'll be able to bring back alive. It's at times like this I find myself questioning the Prophet's proclamations...)
"Captain? Is something wrong?"
...No, it's nothing.
Music: Impending Crisis
Prepare to begin the mission! Everyone must stick together at all times inside the mine. Whatever happens, under no circumstances should you go off alone! We'll leave a detachment here to guard the entrance. If the enemy should happen to reach this point, they must be stopped at all costs. That's all from me. Anything to add, Stocke?
Hmm... Do all of you know what Captain Rosch's top priority is? It's to bring you all back to Alistel alive. Don't act rashly. Just believe in your Captain and give it your all. You do that... And Rosch and I won't let any of you die. Let's come home with a victory to show for it!
Go! Let the Prophet Noah guide you!
"Let the Prophet Noah guide us!"
Follow me, men!
The army charges into the mine with Rosch and Stocke at the front.
Music: Shadows Dance in the Darkness
What's the matter, Raynie?
Um, it's nothing... But c'mon! We need to find and deal with the enemy as quick as we can!
I agree. Let's move on, but carefully.
That reminds me, supposedly there are goblins in this mine. We'll find ourselves facing them, too. Don't go and let them get the best of you before we face the real enemy, now. Oh, and Kiel! Your sword dancing is amazing, but it's not fit for combat. Don't get overconfident.
Alma Mine is sort of like a tutorial for handling explosives. A lot of routes are blocked off, so you'll have to find explosives to set up so you can blow a path open.
Some of the enemies here can put you to sleep, which can be a nuisance, but other than that the enemies here are pretty easy. A lot easier than the enemies in the Standard History, at least.
When we get a little further in, the screen starts to shake.
Yikes... Is the ceiling caving in?
This does seem like a pretty old mine...
I'm also nervous about what the enemy's up to. Keep your eyes open.
Always make sure to keep a safe distance when handling explosives. Radiant Historia is the kind of game to hurt you if you stand directly in an explosion, but it doesn't make it obvious by making Stocke flash or anything. The first time I played, I didn't even notice they were hurting me until I entered a battle with 20 health.
I haven't been describing much of this place, because literally every room follows the same pattern.
Rocks are in your way, find a barrel, slowly drag the barrel to the rocks, blow up rocks, proceed to the next room, repeat.
We've been all over this mine and haven't run into anything but goblins...
We've run into lizard things too, Raynie.
Are Granorg's forces really here?
Yeah, I don't think there's been any mistake.
What's with the sulking? You seemed to have a lot more pep when we left Alistel.
Oh, uh, no! It's just... I feel a little let down. I thought transferring to the normal army would mean I'd see some action in a huge battle! Instead, I'm tromping around in a half-collapsed mine... I guess I never thought I'd be in a place like this again...
"Again"? Have you been on a mission like this before?
Shh! I hear something.
You do? I don't hear any--
The screen begins to shake violently.
Whoa! What the!?
Damn, it's a cave-in.
How can you be so calm!? Get moving! Don't just stand there!
Damn... This won't be easy to move... Hey! Are you guys okay!? Yell if you can hear me!
"Y-Yes, Sir! I think we're all still here! A few of us were hurt a little, but nothing serious, Sir! Captain! What should we do?"
Link up with the detachment we left at the entrance!
"Understood! What about you, Captain?"
We'll keep going and search for the enemy! Once you meet up with the others, do something about this passage so we can all regroup later!
"Yes, Sir! All right, guys, this way!"
I... I thought I was dead this time for sure...
...N-Never mind. I just got a little freaked out.
Looks like we won't be able to get out for a while. Kiel? Are you okay?
I'm fine, Captain!
Good! Glad to hear it.
Now that this tunnel is blocked, the enemy can't pass through to Alistel's side anymore. And the tunnel from here leads staight ahead. There's only one place they could be, really.
Where'd all this come from, Kiel? You seem to really know your way around this place.
I actually used to work in a mine. I've been to Alma Mine before, so I know more or less how it's laid out.
That would explain it. I guess you can't judge by appearances. So you think if we go down this path, we'll find them?
I'd say so, yes.
Kiel... I should warn you, it looks like we'll have to fight them off ourselves. I'd never order you to go first, of course. You'll be supporting us from the rear. But this will be a pretty grim situation for your first real battle. Are you up for it? If you're not sure of yourself...
I'll do it! Please let me help! I might not be as good as you or the Sergeant, but I'll still do my best!
Good! That's what I like to hear from my men. In that case, let's go on ahead.
And we're back to slowly trudging through identical grey corridors.
Our party hides behind some crates to spy on the enemy.
They must have used those explosives to blast open the entrance and get in.
The cave-in before was probably caused by the explosion. We used explosives on our side of the entrance first... But the cave-in happened much closer to this side.
Whoa, so wait... We almost got buried alive because of them!?
Hey, could you keep it down a little? They'll hear us.
Oh, uh, sorry...
Hmm... There's more than I expected. Maybe more than we can handle. Any ideas, Stocke?
Well... Let's try those explosives.
What!? We do that, and we'll be buried alive for sure!
Actually, I think we'll be okay. Those explosives over there aren't as powerful. Not enough to be able to cause a collapse on this side, anyway. But even a weaker explosive can be a very powerful weapon.
Then that's what we'll do. At the very least it ought to thin them out.
How do you make the most outlandish decisions with such a straight face? Then again, you've always been like that...
Okay, we have our plan.
...... I think I see why this guy's Stocke's best friend now...
We'll handle igniting the explosives. You guys finish off the remaining soldiers.
Stocke, Raynie and Marco sneak around to the enemy's flank.
Y-Yes, Sir! This will be my first time in a real fight...
Are you scared? It's okay. That's natural. Psych yourself up by giving a big yell from the pit of your stomach! Now let's get going!
(We've reached the enemy's right flank... We can go anytime.)
(The time's come... Gotta aim carefully...) There! Eat that!
Rosch throws his spear into the barrels, causing an explosion that takes out two of the enemy soldiers.
"Gah! What the!? Is that the Alistel army!? Damn! They've triggered the explosives... I don't believe this!"
Stocke runs in from the side and starts cutting through the remaining soldiers.
"How dare you do this to us, you Alistellian mongrels!?"
Reinforcements charge into the mine, and Rosch and Kiel rejoin Stocke and the others.
Kiel! Time to cut loose!
Y-Yes, Sir...! Rrraaaaaaagh!
Music: The Red Locus
I was surprised to hear this music at this point in the game. I don't think it'll play again for quite a few hours.
These Light Granorgites aren't anything special, but there's a ton of them, so they can be a challenge.
As usual, the plan is to push as many enemies together as possible and attack them all at once. I didn't have Raynie in my party for this battle, so I had to tough it out without poisoning anyone.
While we were in the mine, Rosch learned Gull Swing, which hits an entire row of enemies at once. It's pretty handy for this battle, where the enemies are arranged in rows. In the end, they didn't give me any trouble.
Music: To the Future that Awaits Ahead
We did it...!
Shut up, Kiel, you didn't do anything.
Well done, Kiel. You did a great job back there.
He didn't do anything!
Th-Thank you! But we'd never have pulled off such a bold plan without the two of you.
C'mon, stop... It's embarrassing.
Ah! Looks like the blockage has been taken care of.
"Yes, Sir! Er... Where's the enemy?"
We just took care of the last of them. Well done, everyone. Our first campaign couldn't have gone better. Now... This is the only loose end left. My orders are to seal the entrance, but...
...Is there a problem with that?
Not really... It just feel like a waste. I'm wondering if we could use Granorg's plan here against them to mount counteroffensive.
Oh, I see! You're right...!
...I wouldn't recommend it. They'll be watching for us to make a move like that.
Yeah... You have to figure any plan simple enough for me to come up with, they thought of first. Besides, this path is too narrow. You couldn't march an entire corps through it.
Fair enough! We seal this place just as ordered!
But...Couldn't they just blast it open again?
We'll post a guard here, but I doubt they're dumb enough to try the same trick twice. In which case, mission complete. Let's head back to Alistel!
Now that it's over, it feels like it all ended too soon... Did we really just win our first victory?
"I know what you mean... But hey, we pulled it off without a single casualty. We should be celebrating!"
You know... You're right. But our COs did all the heavy lifting...
Nonsense. You all did well.
Kiel didn't help at all, and everyone else was on the opposite end of the mine...
I may have been hoping for the best, but inside, I was bracing for the worst. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome than this.
But don't go thinking you're hardened vets just yet. Once we get home, you'll be going through some harsh training. You won't get any breaks. I'll run you all so hard, you'll wish you'd died today! So prepare yourselves now!
Rosch heads back toward the other end of the mine.
"He's... He's joking, right?"
I don't think so...
Sergeant Stocke! Thank you! What you said before the mission... "I won't let any of you die." It meant a lot to me. Thank you very much!
Kiel and the generic soldier leave, and Stocke begins to follow.
It's over already?
It is. Mission accomplished. You two did well in there. Let's go back to Alistel.
We're going to rest here a while longer. You go on ahead, Stocke.
There were some bumps along the way, but that went well. I think we can get through this even if we're not part of Specint anymore.
Prob'ly. I was pretty surprised to see a whole brigade of new recruits, though. I nearly froze up because I had no idea how it would turn out.
...That's not the only reason you froze up, is it, Raynie?
You don't like being in places like this, do you? The mercenary troop was wiped out at a mine, too...
...... I don't want to talk about it! C-C'mon! We should get going too!
And with that, our first mission as a member of the Rosch Brigade has been completed successfully!
Our rest won't last for long, though. Next time we'll do menial tasks for townspeople and get our next assignment. Look forward to it!