The Let's Play Archive

Radiant Historia

by DarkHamsterlord

Part 18: Return to Alistel

Music: The Garden Where the Celestite Lies

Vanoss is resting in the inn. The NPCs around town thank you "despite being a human" for saving Vanoss' troupe, but there's not much reason to wander the village at the moment.



How do you plan on entering Alistel?
We'll go as traveling entertainers. While our purpose is a ruse, our show is real.
I see... Actually, I came to ask you to take me with you. I want to see what's happening to Alistel for myself. If needed, I could perform in your show, as well.
Oh, so you are a talented performer as well? There is truly more to you than meets the eye. Yet... You may not need to. There aren't any major checkpoints until we reach Alistel. And we may just be able to claim that you're a bodyguard that we hired. In any case...
...
What is it...?
It's just... I seem to recall taking someone else with us in the same way... But I can't remember any of the details...
......
...Ah well. It's not important. Probably just my imagination. Well, Stocke, please make yourself ready to depart. We'll leave for Alistel tomorrow.

The next day...



Stocke... Are you really going back there? You'll be a wanted man.
I'm too worried about Lt. General Raul. Don't worry. I was a Specint man until recently. I'm well versed in keeping a low profile.
You're right... But be careful all the same.
Don't worry. You'll see me again. Look after Rosch while I'm gone.
...I will.



Alistel is a dangerous place to be right now. We'll come too.
We'd worry if you went alone, Stocke! That's why we'll come with you!
I believe we've already proven ourselves. I doubt we'd be a burden to you.
...Not that I don't appreciate it, but won't the Patriarch object to Aht coming?
But if I'm not with you, then you can't get through the barrier on your way back.
The girl is correct.
...I see. All right.



Except for one thing...
?
There's actually been a slight change in plan... It seems we'll be traveling separately from you, Stocke.
Is that what you were speaking to the Patriarch about before?
Yes... We'll be making haste for Cygnus on the Patriarch's orders. But don't be worried on our account! We'll head directly to Alistel afterwards. Our business in Cygnus should be brief, so it won't be long before our paths rejoin.
...All right. If we get there first, we'll stay low and wait for your arrival.
That would be best, I think. Well then, now it really is time that we departed. We'll see you at Alistel!

Vanoss leaves the village.

...We should get going, too.



The game is nice enough to let us skip right over Lavil Hill this time.



When we arrive, Alistel is totally silent. Which is a shame, because I really like the music here.

(There's no soldiers posted, either. Did they get careless, thinking I wouldn't return? ...I wonder how Lt. General Raul is doing...)
...




Whew... We made much better time than I'd expected.

Stocke walks down to Vanoss.

Ah, Stocke! I'm glad we were able to find each other. How is the city?
Same old, same old, it seems. ...Where's everyone else?
I left them waiting outside the city walls, just in case. But it seems there aren't any problems coming this far in, at the least. Well then, it's time we got to gathering information.
What's your plan?
Oh... We'll try the usual methods tailored to our troupe. I'll announce to the people that we'll be performing here.
A performance...?
When people gather, they also talk. You'll see... But we can't have people finding out who you are before that. Please use this robe.
Sorry for the trouble. I'll put it on if the need arises.

...

Music: Unending Clear Blue Sky



Greetings, good folk of Alistel! We are a troupe of traveling performers, come from Cygnus! In a short while, we will be putting on a show of feats and marvels! Come one, come all!
"You there! What're you doing!?"

Some soldiers approach.



I was only announcing that we'll be putting on a performance here...
"I can see THAT! Putting on your performance is fine, but you need to stop attracting customers right now. The exalted Prophet Noah and General Hugo are about to address the people."
Ah, then say no more. We are unfamiliar with this land and your customs. Pardon our small misunderstanding.
"Just so long as you know... There won't be a second time."

The soldiers leave, and Vanoss begins speaking to Stocke.

Stocke, what shall we do? It seems there'll be quite a crowd here before long. Should we hide amongst them to listen?
Yeah, they may prove useful...
Then we'll wait for the proper time to leave Alistel. Oh yes, don't forget to use the robe I gave you earlier.
I won't. I'll put it on when we go to the square.

In other words: "We didn't want to draw robed sprites for all of Stocke's overworld actions."

There are a few new sidequests in Alistel now. We'd better get them now, because the nearest node is from before we fought the bear, so coming back here is a pain in the ass.




I'm worried about leaving Aht... Can you do me a favor?

I'll listen.
I don't have time now.

Aht is what is known as a shaman in Celestia. Shamans must watch over the passing of souls and guide them to the right path.
Yes... So I hear.
Shamans have special powers. Normally, when a person dies, others may grieve but must eventually accept it. This is because there is no way to bring back the dead... But it is not so for a shaman. They live in a balance of life and death... And by stepping off, they may bring them back.
...It may be obvious to you, but what is wrong with bringing someone back to life?
Retrieving a lost soul is like sending the rain back to the heavens. To do the unnatural distorts that which is natural. Correcting what's unnatural causes only more distortion, and with it more destruction.
.........
A shaman with a weak heart will misuse this power and stray from the right path. ...As the last shaman did.
The last shaman? Is she in Celestia?
No... She was unable to accept a friend's death and left the village with his soul. Perhaps, if Aht continues on this journey, she may encounter her. If that happens, and you are with her, I want you to help her. Make certain that Aht doesn't go down the wrong path.

Okay.
I can't make promises.

Thank you. The last rumor I heard was that she had gone towards the desert town. Please, take care of Aht. And be careful...

This is one of my favorite sidequests, but we won't be able to do anything about it for awhile.

Our next sidequest waits outside the weapon store.




"My dad went to war, and he hasn't come back... It's my fault... I hid my dead mom's keepsake from him. It's an amulet that protects us... I thought he wouldn't go if I hid it from him... But he went anyway. And he's not coming back, because he didn't have the amulet..."
(It sounds like this boy's father was one of the casualties at Gran Plain... What should I do?)

Give the charm
Do nothing

"Huh...? You're going to give my dad the amulet? Really? Could you do that!? Is he still alive!?"
I don't know, but I know where he is. Maybe I'll be able to give it to him.
"That's fine. Please, make sure he gets it. Tell him... Tell him I'm sorry. Promise me!"

Obtained Keepsake Locket

(If I go to the Sand Fortress before the battle, this kid's father should still be alive.)

There's one more sidequest to start here, and then I'll head for the square.



"*sob* Why did this happen...? I'm sorry you had to see me like this... My husband passed away the other day. I only regret that I didn't make him go to the doctor soon enough... And now this medicine is too late to save him."
(That's the medicine that he didn't get in time...)

Take the medicine
Don't do anything

I'll take that medicine.
"Huh? Oh... Of course. I don't think I'll ever be using it. My husband would be happy if it went to save someone sick."

Obtained Anti-Poison

This is just a normal Anti-Poison. We can use it if we need to, and just buy another to give to her husband.

There are no more sidequests here, so let's head for the square.




(I'd better wear the robe Vanoss lent me.)

Stocke puts on the robe.

(Much better... All right, let's go.)

Music: To the Battlefield



Stocke, Aht, and Gafka are at the back of the crowd. I don't really get how Gafka's robe made him human-sized, or how Aht fit her massive horns under that hood, but whatever.

I will now deliver to you who have gathered here the words of the Prophet Noah. By virtue of the Prophet Noah's wise leadership, the evil nation of Granorg will soon fall! But this alone will not suffice to bring the Prophet's ideals to fruition. Even after Granorg's defeat, many in this world remain who are untouched by the Prophet's light. These wretched people, knowing not the ways of God nor man, continue to pollute this world! And this leaves the Prophet Noah with a heavy heart.
...... I don't like this... It's a very arrogant point of view.
Consider the savage tribe living in the western wastes... Thrice has the Prophet reached out his hand, and thrice has it been slapped away... Until they have now resorted to unforgivable blasphemy by defying him through military strength.
"May Heaven's wrath strike down the savage tribe of Cygnus!"
Consider, too, the Beastkind whose misshapen forms ravage the lands ruled by man. Their monstrous countenances and alien magics mark them as an enemy to be feared!
"Hey, weren't there some Beastkind in the city just a moment ago?"
"Yeah, there were! I saw 'em!"
Hope Vanoss and the others have already made their exit...
This is horrible...
...It seems there's no hope for peace between us. I've heard all I want to. Let's go.
Wait. We'll cause a scene if we leave now. We need to leave along with the rest of the crowd once the speech is over.
Children of the Prophet Noah! Children of Alistel! Our battle has not yet come to an end! Not until the eyes of the savages are opened and the bloodline of the beasts is terminated! Let us march proudly together, hand in hand! May light shine upon Alistel!

...



I doubt our performance here would be welcome anymore. If we were to put on a show now, they'd throw rocks, not coins.
We didn't do anything bad... Why did he say that stuff? No wonder Elm is always mad!
...I'm sorry.
It's not your fault, Stocke! It's that bad baldy!



"Stocke..."
!
"Here... Show this to no one else."

The robed man leaves.

(That man... Was that...?)
What's the matter?
That man slipped me a note.

Bar's back alley. Night.
-R


What is this?
What's the "R" mean?
...I think I have some idea. Let's go to where the note tells us.

...



We'll wait for you here. We do stand out a bit...
Yeah, I agree.

Gafka and Aht wait by the stairs, and Stocke proceeds.



!
So that was you this afternoon. I'm glad to see you safe, R. Or rather... ...Lt. General Raul.
Just barely. I wish we could celebrate our reunion, but there isn't any time. I'm currently being hunted, just as you are. Would you leave Alistel with me now, no questions asked?
...That was my plan, yes.
Alistel has gone completely mad... Under Hugo's leadership, the people have lost sight of the path they should be taking. I couldn't do anything about it even if I could stay here. We must take steps outside the country to stop this madness...
I agree... Actually, I have some partners I've been working with. I had them wait elsewhere, so we should meet up with them first.
All right. ...You can come out now.
!

Music: To the Future that Awaits Ahead



Stocke!
You two...!
You're safe! I'm so glad...
Not as glad as I am to see you two safe and sound.
Seriously, though, we were so worried about you! A lot of stuff had happened by the time we got back to Alistel. They told us you disappeared!
Well, we can talk about it later! Let's hurry and get outta here first!

Raynie and Marco rejoin the party, and we return to where Aht and Gafka are waiting.



Are you, uhm, "R"?
Indeed, my name is Raul. It's nice to meet you. I was previously Stocke's superior, but as you can see, I'm currently being hunted...
Wow, a Gutral! I've never seen one before... I didn't realize they were so big!
...Uh... Hm... This could be a problem... A small one... a woman, and...
Is something wrong, Gafka?
To be honest... All you humans look the same to me.
"Hey! We got a tip that the traitors Stocke and Raul were seen around here!"




"They must still be hiding around here! Let's go!"

No rest for the weary, I see.
Let's hurry and get out of here, before they find us.

We run for city entrance.



"There you are, traitors... You and those conspiring with you... all will be eliminated right here..."
They found us... Out of our way... I won't hold back just because we used to be on the same side!



These guys are no different from ordinary soldiers. They're not a big deal at all. After the battle, Stocke hit 23 and learned Steal, so now I can forget to steal from bosses even when Aht isn't around!



After we defeat the soldiers, they start to glow black, and...



...They turn to sand.

Wh-What in the world...?
There's no time to talk, Lt. General. Let's hurry and get away!
Right...

We continue out of the city and enter Lazvil Hills North, as the game will not allow us to go straight to Celestia, as usual.

Upon entering, our group stops to talk.


Music: To the Battlefield



Considering how far we've come, I think we'll be okay. For now.
We ended up causing a scene after all.
Yeah, but I'm okay!
What a spirited young lady. My legs feel so weak... Goodness... I'm clearly not the young man I once was.
Lt. General Raul... I think it's time you told us. What happened in Alistel?
...You're right. You should know. But is it all right if I take off this robe first? It's so hot under here that I can't stand it.

Raul removes his cloak.



Actually, the best place might be with the assassin that showed up at my door after you three left.
An assassin!? Must've been sent by Hugo...
Indeed... Raynie and Marco saved me in the nick of time.
But if we'd gotten there a tad sooner... we could have saved the woman too...
The woman?
Lt. General Raul's secretary. When the assassin burst in, she tried to protect the Lt. General, and... well...
...I feel terrible about what happened to her. Of course I assumed General Hugo would put pressure on me, but not an immediate assassination... It was my lack of foresight that killed her.
......
After these two rescued me, I fled the army and headed underground. Since then, I've been unable to act. I've just waited for an opportunity to present itself
And then I showed up... It's fortunate I returned to Alistel when I did. That reminds me, I have a document I got from Hugo's office. Can you read it?
Seems to be ciphered. I could crack it with more time... But it'll be hard to use as evidence. This wax seal here, though, that belongs to Count Selvan of Granorg. It becomes clearer... Now I see why Hugo deliberately tried to prolong the war. He, Selvan, and whoever else had an under-the-table arrangement to benefit from further conflict.
Then they're responsible for all the deaths in this war... It's because of them that Kiel died!
Granorg will fall soon. It must be because of the secret talks that things are ending so smoothly... ...Anyway, I never thought that you'd have taken refuge in Celestia. No wonder I wasn't able to turn up anything on your whereabouts.
I don't recall mentioning that we'd been in Celestia.
But it's plain to see, given your present travel company. Is Rosch in Celestia too?
Yeah. Rosch and Sonja are safe there.
It won't be long before Alistel completely annexes Granorg as the victorious nation. After that, Hugo plans to carry out the Prophet Noah's will... By making a glorious march on Cygnus and the Beastkind lands to subjugate them. To put it plainly... As the nearest neighbor, Celestia will be invaded first.
Just as Vanoss said... The world is worse off than he knew. Now Celestia may be invaded...
You must bring news of this to Celestia at once.
...Aht, will it be all right to bring the Lt. General and the others into the village as well?
If you think we should, then I won't say no.
I'm relieved to hear that. Well then, lead the way.



Sorry for the big yellow bar. The title of the area comes up immediately, and a text box blocks the screen before it disappears.

That's... the Alistel army!
I won't let you do this!

Music: The Edge of Green



This battle went horribly for me. I don't know if I'm underleveled, awful at the game, or what, but this was really difficult.



The soldiers are simple to take care of thanks to Aht's traps. If you arrange your turns right you can push the soldiers onto a single trap together and take them out really quickly. Since they go down so fast, I focused on them first to reduce the number of attacks I would have to deal with.

The soldiers should also be dealt with quickly because they inflict Fear on your party. Fear is like poison, but it drains your MP instead of your HP. It's one of the worst status ailments in the game, and getting rid of it should be your highest priority when someone is afflicted with it.




After taking out the soldiers, I'm free to focus on the Auto Defense Crystals. As you can see, these things can cause crazy amounts of damage to your entire party at once (they also have an attack that deals the same damage, but only to a single person. They almost never use this attack.), so they can be a real pain. Even worse, they can't be moved, so you have to take them out one at a time and can't abuse Aht's traps.

Gafka's low magic defense makes him really vulnerable in this battle, as you can see from the above screenshot. Similarly, Aht's high magic defense makes her unlikely to be killed once the soldiers are down. Despite being five levels below Stocke, who has a pretty good magic defense stat, she takes 21 less damage than him.

After some difficulty and a lot of Holy Water, we manage to successfully protect Celestia.




Are you all right?
Elm: Saved by a human... ...Guess I should thank you.
Are you one of Celestia's vigilante corps?
Elm: That's right. Who wants to know?
I'm former Lt. General Raul of Alistel.
Elm: An Alistellian officer!?
Calm down, Elm! That's a bad habit you have, losing your temper so quickly.
No... I understand her hatred completely.
Elm: The Alistel army burned Celestia to the ground. Don't expect me to ever forget that...
You have every reason to hate us. I apologize on behalf of my country. But now there's a new danger fast approaching that I must warn you of. May I please speak with the Patriarch Barranca?
Elm... He is telling the truth. We have been to Alistel. You must believe us.
Elm: ...... Tch... Guess there's no getting around it. Follow me.

Elm brings us through the barrier, and we're automatically brought to the Patriarch's house.

Music: To the Battlefield



Barranca: ...So this country will become a battlefield.
Unfortunately. Hugo has declared on behalf of Noah that this is a holy war of salvation... But in reality, he's trying to achieve his dream of conquering the whole continent. It's safe to assume that he's beyond the stage where he can be negotiated with.
Barranca: I had thought until now that the war would end when either side won... That it wouldn't matter if it was Granorg or Alistel. But it seems I was mistaken.
Sad to say that there are times when the end of one war is only the beginning of another. It's shameful, but such is the history of mankind.
Barranca: ...Indeed. These troubles wouldn't arise if they could coexist without each side interfering with the other. Well, we're finally involved in the strife too.
True enough. ...Hugo must know by now that the vigilante corps skirmished with Alistel's troops.
Elm: Wh-Why do you have to say it like that!? THEY attacked US!
I know that, and you know that. But to him, it doesn't matter who instigated the battle as long as it took place. All who oppose Hugo will be crushed forcefully... Alistel now has the excuse they wanted to begin an invasion.
Elm: Ngh...!
The situation is no longer at the point where the smallest incident will touch off hostilities. We're past that point now. Barranca... You must make a decision.
Barranca: To fight Alistel with the meager forces of our village... Is that what you're asking of me, Raul?
...Yes. The only other choices are to continue closing off the village or to admit defeat.
Elm: How can we do that!? The humans are saying flat out that they'll exterminate us! Even if we throw down our weapons, all that'll be waiting for us is--!
Barranca: You needn't go on, Elm. ...Everyone understands.
Elm: That damned Hugo!
Barranca: This village is completely reliant on our allies in the outside world for resources. If those allies are exterminated, this village will perish shortly thereafter. Even if we continue to wait, our situation will not improve... What to do, what to do...



...I may be pressing you too hard on this. I doubt you'll be able to make a sound decision under these conditions. Well then, why don't we take a break for now?
Barranca: Yes... I'm sorry, but that would be most appreciated. I will continue to think upon it.
Understood.

Raul turns around to face the others.

Well then... Let's all breathe easy for a while. Stay here if you like, or take a walk around outside. We'll resume the talks when the time is right.

Music: The Garden Where the Celestite Lies



When you have more than three party members, this message comes up instead of the game telling you each of your party members have left the party one at a time. It's pretty nice and a surprising number of games don't do this despite how obvious it is.

We're free to wander the village for a bit now. There's not really anything interesting to do right now, though, so we're just going to go talk to a few NPCs, Sonja, and Rosch.


"The group that attacked just now wasn't their main force, was it? Are they regrouping to attack with a giant army next?"
"...... The humans tried to kill us, just like that other time."
"That man named Rosch... He tried to join our ranks when Alistel tried to attack. But he gave up, because his mechanical arm didn't work. He looked very frustrated."



...Don't think about it too much. We're doing the best we can.
I... I know that. Rosch is going to have to get through this on his own.
So, you think the Gauntlet can be fixed if we get the core replaced?
Yes. Rosch's Gauntlet's core seems to have disintegrated. If we get a new part, it should work as good as new. But is that really what's best for Rosch, Stocke?



Yeah...
If he stays in Celestia, Hugo won't be able to touch him. He should be able to live quietly here, too.
......

These two are such downers. Maybe the people in the Patriarch's house will be a bit more cheerful.



Raynie and Marco aren't in here. They're also nowhere to be seen in the village and they aren't in our party. I'm not really sure where they went after that last cutscene. Anyway, we're going to talk to every NPC in this house. I'm pretty sure you have to do this, but I'm not positive. There are certain NPCs you need to talk to before you can get the next cutscene, I think Rosch and Sonja are included in this list, but I'm really not sure. Whenever I go back in time to before this cutscene I get stuck for ages trying to figure out exactly which NPCs the game wants me to talk to before I can progress.

Elm: I thank you for helping us earlier. Without your help, there may have been more serious injuries or casualties.
What are you going to do now?
Elm: Patriarch Barranca will choose a course of action, and I will obey. If he tells me to fight, I will fight.

Barranca: ...... I'm sorry, I just want to think by myself right now.

Will you be able to defeat that evil Hugo man?
......
His voice... It was so cold. If he comes back to this village, he's going to kill everyone. Even my grandpa and Elm. So please, Stocke... Please defeat that evil man.
...I wish it was that simple, but I can't stop him alone.
Then everyone should help! We just need to get a lot of friends together, and we can crush that meanie Hugo!
...Yeah.

I like how Aht is talking like an innocent child here and using words like "meanie" but she also expresses the violent desire to "crush" Hugo.

Before we headed to Alistel, I had my assumptions about its leader. I knew Hugo had his own motives, but I never imagined they would stretch outside the human lands. But after hearing him speak, I changed my way of thinking.
And?
I now see him as someone blinded by his own ambitions. He cannot see anything else. To him human lives are like pebbles. He kicks them around without even realizing it. He'll put the entire world in jeopardy without realizing it. He must be stopped.

Next we speak to Raul. Our conversation with him is the only one in this room that shows portraits for dialog, which would make you assume his is the only important conversation, but just talking to him won't initiate the next cutscene. This part really reminds me of the kind of arbitrary talk-to-everyone segments you would find in old adventure games.

Even if Celestia decides to stand and fight... We still don't have nearly enough equipment or military might to win.
Maybe if it's just Celestia, it'd be an impossible battle... But if Cygnus helps, it's not so bleak. If we can get organized, and enlist Cygnus' help, we might stand a pretty good chance. Hugo's attention is currently directed towards Granorg and Cygnus. We'll strike from the back, and Cygnus can surround him. Yet...
......?
We could form the greatest of armies, but it would take a strong commander to lead it.
Hasn't that been your job this whole time?
I've built the foundation for the army, but I never planned on leading it to war. We need a battle-hardened commander to organize the troops in battle and keep morale up. I'm not a good fit for that job. ...But if I'm asked to do it, I won't ignore duty's call.
...
We have a decent battle plan, and we have a chance at winning. What we don't have is an excellent commander who can utilize our plan.

Once we finally figure out who the game wants us to talk to, talking to Barranca again will let us progress.

Barranca: ...... So now is the time for me to decide. In times like these, doing nothing is not defense. It's surrender. Sir Raul...
......! ...Yes. I'm here to listen.

Music: To the Battlefield



The screen fades out and back in, and everyone gathers again. (By that, I mean Raynie and Marco return from wherever they were hiding and Stocke moves to the back of the room.)

Barranca: Is it true that Cygnus would extend a hand if we made the decision to rise up?
Cygnus will definitely make a move of some sort... Actually, they've already begun. The Cygnus army has gathered near the desert town of Skalla, west of Judgement Cliff. They are only waiting for King Garland's command.
Barranca: How can you be so sure? I heard you had been hounded by the army and forced underground.
Some alliances can only be forged when one is hiding underground. Because I had been hunted by Alistel, I began contacting a certain individual. One who was also being pursued by their country, and is seeking refuge in Cygnus.
Barranca: So Cygnus is making a move on this person's urging? Who would have such influence...?
I cannot say. I promised them I'd divulge their identity to no one. But I guarantee you that this person can be trusted.
Barranca: Hm... I believe you've given me enough to work it out on my own. Interesting... If we're thinking of the same person, then indeed, they mustn't be identified...
They made me a solemn promise. If Celestia decides to rise up, they'll work to bridge the gap with Cygnus.
Barranca: Intriguing that you've already laid such extensive groundwork.
I'm sorry that Celestia has been dragged into this.
Barranca: No, no... You did well to look so far ahead. ...Very well. We cannot just sit and wait for our village to be overrun. Still... The vigilante corps is meant to fight lone monsters that approach the village. Elm is a strong warrior, but she has no experience in battle, especially not against humans. Can we truly hope to match them...?
Mmm... I understand what you're saying, Patriarch Barranca. Fighting an organized army with well-honed tactics is different than dispatching a monster.
Barranca: I thought at first to have Elm command the men... But that may not be best. But who else would have battle experience as well as the ability to command troops?
Stocke... Why don't you do it?
Absolutely not. It's one thing to assist a commander, but I could never actually take command.
We're not really CO material ourselves, if you're wondering.
Hmm. In that case... How about Rosch? Is he well enough to lead?
That man hasn't had the will to fight since he lost his thaumatech arm.
Thaumatech arm? You mean his Gauntlet...? It's broken? ...I had heard he was severely injured, but I didn't think it was as bad as that...
Indeed... The fire of his will to fight is fading. Though after hearing of all he's suffered, I can understand. To lose so much of what was precious to him, all at once... Fate can be cruel indeed.
Good lord... But there's no question that he'd be the one most suited to this.
W-Wait a sec! You're not still thinking of making the Captain your commander, are you!? That's ridiculous! Even if his wounds are healing fast, he almost died not too long ago. I was shocked when I saw what he was like after I got here... He was like a different person. I'm against this! If you're gonna go through with it, I'll--!
Raynie! Calm down!
......
(It's true, a field commander will be needed to lead the novice warriors of Celestia. The success of the operation depends on the skills of its commander... I have to think about this one carefully...)

Nominate Raul
Nominate Rosch

I believe Raul should be the one to command this operation.
...All right, I'll do it. It's been years since I last stood on the battlefield... Maybe I can be of some use again. I couldn't stop General Hugo at Alistel, and I... still feel responsible for that. I won't allow the Satyros to be placed in harm's way. I'll stand with them on the battlefield.
I'll do what I can as well.
Barranca: We'll be counting on you, Raul.
...
Everyone, let's do whatever we must to defend Celestia!

Led by Raul, Celestia emerged victorious in battle after battle, thanks to his tactics. Celestia seemed unstoppable, but overconfidence proved to be their downfall. While commanding the troops from the front lines, Raul was killed by an assassin's bolt. Without him, Celestia's forces were left in tatters, and were soon annihilated... Afterwards, Stocke and the others faced a long, slow path to defeat...

"Assassination of Raul"
FIN


Music: The Melody Connecting the World



You made the right choice, as a military man. But it seems this time, destiny played its hand, and your choice fell short of saving the world.
Raul wasn't ready to be the commander at the frontline... His strength lies in strategy and planning from the rear.
The wayward lion would have been a better contender for the job. If only he could find his way... Stocke... You need to find the key to your best friend's heart.

...



...All right, I'll do it. It's been years since I last stood on the battlefield... Maybe I can be of some use again. I couldn't stop General Hugo at Alistel, and I... still feel responsible for that. I won't allow the Satyros to be placed in harm's way. I'll stand with them on the battlefield.
...Wait. I'll talk to Rosch.
......! Stocke...
You too, Stocke!? Aren't you his best friend!? You--!
Have you forgotten Kiel and the others in the brigade? I can't let this battle end like that. ...And I'm sure Rosch would feel the same. I'm just going to see.
Stocke... Don't push him too hard...

Music: Where the Wind and Feathers Return (Piano Arrangement)



Back again...?
The situation's changed. Alistel is going to invade in the very near future. We intend to meet them head on.
......! What? Don't even think about it! It's not like running down wild animals. These will be well-trained, well-organized soldiers. The people here will be massacred!
Lt. General Raul suggested that he lead the fight. I vetoed him, though... You and I know that the Lt. General's strength is in tactics. He shouldn't be on the field. What we need right now is a commander with actual battle experience.
...Are you saying I should do it?
Sonja says she doesn't want you to fight anymore. She lost her brother in battle. I'm sure she's afraid of the same happening to you... If you're going to say that the hope everyone's pinned on you is too much... Then there's nothing I can do about that. But is that really what you think? Are you really going to give it all up!?
I didn't give anything up... It gave up on me. I've lost all the subordinates I was meant to protect. My Gauntlet's lost too. It's over... All over.
(Is there no way to get through to you, Rosch...? Ngh... If that's so...)

There's a flash of white, and...



I wouldn't recommend pressing him too hard right now, Stocke...
If you're patient with him, he may eventually have a change of heart. ...But should you bring him to the battlefield when he's not at full strength?
If you want him to excel as a battlefield commander, you need to restore his fighting prowess. You don't want him to end up dead either, do you?
What you must do is reconstruct the Gauntlet that was destroyed by dark forces.
I see... You're right. That Gauntlet is extremely significant to him...
A certain part is needed to repair the Gauntlet. I think the key to this is that lady... The one who always shows such concern for the lion.
Sonja? True... She might be able to help...
The part he needs is very rare. You will need to cross over many times to acquire one.
Hmm... This may end up being the most difficult problem yet.
I'm sure you'll be able to handle it with aplomb. Good luck to you.

We'll be returning to the Standard History next time.

Before I end this, I want to thank HenryEx for ripping the new mugshots for me. When I get the chance, I'll go back through the old updates and replace the other mugshots with these ones.