Part 23: Rosch in AgonyBack in the Alternate History, Alistel has declared war upon Celestia. We need to convince Rosch to join the battle as our Commander, but his gauntlet is broken. After getting some help from the Sonja of the past, we've got new core parts and the tools to insert them into the gauntlet.
Music: The Garden Where the Celestite Lies
Is that... Is that the core for the Gauntlet?
Even better. I have the tools to put it into his Gauntlet, too. Thaumatech engineering has never been my speciality... Hopefully this is what you need.
Y-Yes, it's exactly what I need! H-How did you--!?
Is this the core that I extracted in the lab that one time? And these tools! I've seen them before!
Well, they were yours to begin with. I'll return them to you.
...Are you telling me to fix the Gauntlet with this core? Stocke, I...
I know what you're trying to say. ...I'm not certain what the best thing to do is, either, Sonja. Maybe you're right. Maybe Rosch is done fighting. But I don't believe that for a second, personally. Rosch is a warrior at heart. His men looked up to him for that very reason. I don't think that the fire within him is extinguished yet. So, Sonja... If he decides to fight again, please support his decision. ...I'll leave the parts with you, at least until he makes his decision.
Handed over Force Core.
Now that we've done that, we need to start the next cutscene, and nominate Rosch as our Commander.
...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.
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
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.
I can't understand you... Do you even understand yourself?
That's why I'm going to see for myself... How do you really feel?
I keep coming back to Kiel... How he said he'd be a decoy! Everyone in the brigade was a good man! There was absolutely no reason why they should die, and yet...!
I know that!
How can we make amends for what happened to them? You said just now that you have nothing to protect anymore. Is that really true? Think! What you need to do now is protect the way Alistel should be, as they would have! How else can we avenge them!?
You little... You think I don't feel anything!? I'd do it if I could! But what do you expect me to do with this broken Gauntlet!? I can't do anything! I can't even stand on the battlefield!
You can't, eh...? I'll be the judge of that right now!
Boss: Rosch Round 2
Music: The Red Locus
Somehow, Rosch with a broken gauntlet is more dangerous than the Rosch we fought in the Standard History.
On his first turn he'll always lay a Heal Zone in the center row. He gets about 100HP at the beginning of every turn while he's on that zone, so it's important to push him off of it.
His attacks are the same as before, though he does a little bit more damage. He also doesn't use Iron Wall or Guard Break anymore. Other than that, this fight is pretty much identical to the last one, he just has a lot more HP.
Even though he's not behind an Iron Wall, physical attacks are worthless in this battle, except for using Push Assault to move him off the Heal Zone. What you want to do is use Change to give yourself a lot of turns in a row and spam Fire.
Each hit from Fire does about 150 damage. Once you get rid of half his HP (or 3/4, in my case)
I told Kiel that whatever it took, I'd save your life. I did that because Kiel and the others believed that you'd be the one to avenge their deaths. But looking at you right now...
You're not the only one they put their faith in... They placed it in me as well. You won't have to do this alone. I'll fight alongside you... I'll do it myself if I have to! But first, I need to see for myself that you really can't fight anymore!
...You're serious about this, aren't you.
Get on guard, Rosch!
Ngh... Move... Move, you stupid piece of junk! I can't let things end here...!
Here I come!
Rosch wastes his last turn moving back onto his Heal Zone, and I finish him with two more fires.
...See there? Your Gauntlet works after all...
...It does at that.
This is all the help I can give you. Your Gauntlet works now. If you still claim that you don't want to fight... Then I'll say no more.
H-Hey...! Wait, Stocke!
I'm sorry to get so rough with him... I'll leave you two alone.
We're put back in town now, with nothing to do but report back to the others.
Welcome back, Stocke. How did it go?
It's really up to Sonja... But I think he'll be all right.
Music: To the Future that Awaits Ahead
Huh? Really? Wow... See!? It worked out, just like I said it would! That's our Stocke!
Hah! Listen to you. A moment ago, you were dead set against it.
Barranca: In any event, it seems everything has come together.
Yes... All the elements are in place.
Barranca: Well then... I must rise up. I cannot allow this village to be invaded and destroyed. If an alliance with Cygnus is possible, that's what I'll place my faith in. We'll have Elm put together an operational unit... And I can think of no one better suited to command it than Rosch. What say you to this?
I think that's a fine idea.
Music: Where the Wind and Feathers Return (Piano Arrangement)
...Are you all right?
Yeah, more or less...
Let me have a quick look. Could you raise your left arm for me?
How did my Gauntlet suddenly start working again?
I don't know exactly how either, but there's one theory... It's possible that part of you wanted a reason not to have to take to the battlefield again.
...Well, you may be right.
Rosch...? What's on your mind?
Hm? Uhh, well...
You seem nervous. I think I have some idea anyway... Are you thinking about plunging yourself back into the fray?
...Yeah, that about sums it up. It's like Stocke just said. I can see now that there's still something I can do for them... For their sake, I can't give it up quite yet.
Maybe you already knew... But I didn't want Stocke, or you, to fight anymore. But he won't listen, and you... You seem to be pretty firm on this too. So if I can't stop you two, then I'll do everything I can to support you.
Just please come back safe. That's my condition.
Yeah, well... I'll try.
Ugh! That's a pretty wishy- washy answer!
Oww! So you want me to come back without a single injury? Hate to break it to you, but...
Do it! Even if it's impossible! ...... Though I don't think you have the tools for that right now. I'm going to install the new Core Parts, so please hold still for a little while.
Hey... Was Stocke the one who brought these Core Parts?
Yes, he was. I don't know where he got them, though... There was this one time not long ago when he brought a Gauntlet to me, but... Anyway, we need to make sure not to disappoint him.
Of course. You wouldn't know it to look at him, but he's really concerned about his comrades' well being. I'm going to follow his example and fight for the sake of Kiel and the rest.
Oh, by the way... I made a few adjustments to those Core Parts. I think you'll like them.
Now that you mention it... It does feel more powerful than before. ...This arm of mine keeps getting less human.
Rosch learned Burn Strike.
Burn Strike (or Burn Knuckle, as the skill is called everywhere but here), hits a single enemy for physical damage and lowers their MAG.
Haha... You're incredible, Rosch. But don't forget... No matter how much the Gauntlet is enhanced, you're still a human being with a good heart. It's the man inside who draws out the Gauntlet's power...
Yeah... I understand. What would I do without you?
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
You had to traverse many and varied timelines... It must've been quite tiring. Several factors worked in harmony to give Rosch the chance to come to himself again. How you travel across time is what controls your fate. Let us now add a new chapter to the White Chronicle.
Music: To the Battlefield
Selvan, Dias... What brings you here?
We come to beg a favor of you, Your Majesty. This will be my first and final request.
Go on; what is it?
I humbly beseech you to save Granorg.
We have lost the battle in the Gran Plain, and the Alistel army draws near. If they continue, Granorg will be razed. We desire above all else to save at least the citizenry from the army's wrath.
I bear no love for the churls, but if this request comes from you two, I shall entertain it. But I am no strategist or warrior. How would you have me save this kingdom?
...Your wit is ever so lacking.
Wh-What are you doing!? Cease this insolence! St-Stop I say! Unhand me at once!
...You needn't lift a finger. Countless lives will be saved by your head alone... ...Take her away.
...N-No... Th-This cannot be...!
Protea screams as the soldiers drag her out of the throne room.
...Meanwhile, in Celestia...
The Satyros soldiers fire as the screen pans to Barranca's home, which Stocke enters.
Music: The Garden Where the Celestite Lies
Lt. General Raul... And all of you as well... I'm so sorry! The world's in such a mess, and I...
Considering the circumstances, there was nothing you could have done.
You still came back to us. There's no need to apologize.
Lt. General... Thank you!
You needn't thank me. On the contrary, I'm the one who should be thanking Stocke.
Right... Umm... Thanks for everything, Stocke... Without you, I never could have faced everyone like this.
...You got back on your feet by your own strength.
Nah... If you hadn't gone to such extremes, I'd still be--
All right, hasn't this gone on long enough?
...Yeah. Stocke believed in the Captain, and the Captain rose to the occasion. ...They're both amazing, so can we just leave it at that?
Elm: Something is funny, Lady Aht?
Stocke and Rosch remind me of Elm and Samra, that's all.
He's one of Elm's friends, and he's a good swordsman, too.
Elm: Oh please... I'd use the word "friend" lightly.
But Samra left Celestia... He took Historica and--
Elm: I believe you've said quite enough, Lady Aht.
Elm: Humans, let's get to business.
Music: To the Battlefield
Indeed. We should start by reviewing the current situation. As you are all aware, Granorg has fallen... Worse still, it was by Alistel's hand.
So Alistel finally brought the fight to Granorg... I don't want to imagine how many casualties there were...
...Actually, there were fewer than we expected. Selvan and Dias made a secret pact with Hugo and surrendered Queen Protea.
Those bastards...! They sold out their own queen!?
Their alliance was made quite clear by the coded document that Stocke stole. These people were manipulating the war from the beginning for little more than power. Hugo waited as long as possible to invade Granorg, and acted just before anyone grew suspicious. That gave Selvan enough time to minimize the casualties... ...And as a result, Queen Protea was surrendered and executed just the other day.
I'd like to think she brought it upon herself... But getting backstabbed by your most trusted advisors is no way for anyone to go. Still, that Hugo bastard used the war to gain power!? What does he think soldiers are!?
Indeed, using the whole of Alistel for one man's gain is not something we can forgive. Which brings us to Noah and Hugo. They've moved their base of operations to Granorg. They hope to bring out a full- scale "enlightenment" to the people there... Everything went according to plan with Hugo's speech, too. It seems they will launch their offensive against Cygnus and Celestia to fuel their hatred.
How many soldiers will be sent to Cygnus?
According to Vanoss' report... About 20,000. The major skirmish will most likely take place in Skalla for its strategic advantage. On the other hand, as little as 2,000 troops may be sent to Celestia.
So one front with 20,000 and another with 2,000. Skalla may be the strategic ideal... But I'd say they're taking this place awfully lightly.
Elm: It is nevertheless to our advantage. Our military strength is even smaller than 2,000. ...But we do have a terrain advantage. We should be able to fight sufficiently enough.
First, we have to stop the Alistel detachment headed our way. The Patriarch and I will devise an operation to ensure that we do. Are there any questions?
"Alistel's army is headed south of Lazvil Hills!"
So they're moving... It's just as I've predicted thus far.
The messenger leaves
Barranca: It has come to this. I have no reservations. But will peace truly be obtained after this war? If Granorg is lost... Then the means to protect our continent is lost as well, is it not?
Granorg may be down, but they are not out. Have you forgotten about the one in Cygnus?
Barranca: ...Hm. You're right.
Regardless, our primary concern must be to bolster our defense and survive here. ...We'll be counting on you all.
You better put in double time to make up for all that moping around, Rosch.
Hahaha! Hey, we're here too!
Yeah, we're in this together!
I know I have some flaws, but Stocke... Everyone... Please stick with me through this!
...We're counting on you, Captain Rosch. Now let's move out!
Everyone rejoins our party, including Rosch. I'm not sure how much I'm going to be using him from now on, though, because...
Music: The Garden Where the Celestite Lies
...He's level 14. That's the big problem with Rosch. He's almost never in your party, so he'll inevitably end up 10 levels below everyone else. You could put in the effort to level him up, but there are much better party members to use, so it's not really worth the trouble.
Before we leave to the battlefield, we can talk to Sonja here and start Rosch's skill quest.
There are actually many types of core parts. If I use them, I can make Rosch's Gauntlet stronger. That should be useful in future battles... But I don't really have a way of finding these other cores.
I'll look for it.
You're going to look for them? Thank you, Stocke. I really appreciate it. I've only seen these core parts in books, but the ones I'm looking for are... Let's see... There's an Impale Core, a Blast Core, and a Haste Core. Please bring them to me if you find any of them. If you can find these, they should be a great help.
We already have one of those parts, so we talk to her again.
Oh! Core parts! Now I can strengthen Rosch's Gauntlet! Are you ready, Rosch?
H-Hey! What are you trying to do!? I don't like that look in your eyes...
Heh... Don't worry. It won't hurt!
Er, Sonja... Calm down. Let's talk this over...
You look quite dashing, Rosch.
Rosch learned "Impale Mode"!
Impale Mode is a physical attack that hits the center column and lowers DEF.
I thought I was going to die...
If you find any more parts, you know where to bring them!
Ugh... Please don't find any more parts.
...What was that, Rosch?
I just said I'm so reli... Er, no. I'm so re-- Um, let's go, Stocke! I can't wait to test out all the new powers of my Gauntlet!
Now that we're done in Celestia, we head out to Lazvil Hills to fight off Alistel.
Music: Impending Crisis
Let's stick to the plan. Find the enemy commander and bring him down! The faster we get this done, the fewer the casualties for Celestia! The Satyros archers will provide defensive cover. We must slay the general to defend Celestia!
The enemies here are just soliders, so they shouldn't be too strong, right?
Okay, the soliders here are ridiculous. The red sword guys lay Power Zones, the blue sword guys boost everyone's DEF, making physical attacks worthless, and red spear guys can use Quick Attack to hit 3 times for 80-100 damage each. Even when you're not painfully underleveled, these guys can be a pain.
Since the ordinary enemies kept wrecking me here, and the boss of this area is one of the hardest in the game, I grinded for about five levels before continuing. Of course, leveling here means Eruca is going to be 10 levels lower than everyone else (except Rosch because he's always a low level) next time we see her. Great.
After reaching a suitable level, we go north two screens past some rocks, and reach the boss.
"What!? The Alistellian army is being pushed back! Filthy Beastkind! You'll never get away with this!"
Looks like he's our mark!
"Hey, you're Rosch! I'd heard you fled the country, but now you're siding with the Beastkind!? The Young Lion of Alistel has stooped to a new low!"
...I don't give a damn about that title. Losing my men and leaving my country made me understand that. I figured out what really matters.
"Grr... Such sorry excuses! You can't even accept your own folly!"
My folly? You're the fools! Look at how Hugo has bent you to his whim! If your eyes are there for more than decoration, then take a look around! Think about it! Ask yourself if this is truly in the best interest of the world!
"Silence! The Prophet Noah and General Hugo guide us with the truth of this world! Rosch, you traitor! We'll put an end to you here! The thaumachines that will destroy you are the pride of the country you have forsaken!"
Boss: Thaumachine and Clockwork Thunders
Music: The Edge of Green
Aside from the optional super boss (not a spoiler, this is an RPG, there's an optional super boss.) this was probably the most difficult boss for me my first time through the game, and it taught me the wonders of Aht's traps.
First turn: everyone guards, or you will probably end up dying. Why?
That's why. The Clockwork Thunders have one and only one attack: Self-Destruct. Note that Stocke is the highest leveled and most well-equipped member of our party, and it hit him for 99 damage while he was guarding. If you don't guard through this turn you should be able to kill two or three of them, but I think the battle went best when I guarded through this turn.
After all the Clockwork Thunders have exploded, the Thaumachine will spend its next turn summoning three more. As you can imagine, this battle will completely wreck you if you're not expecting most of the enemies to explode every turn.
After the Thaumachine summons more Clockwork Thunders, each of my party members get two turns while the Thaumachine got one inbetween.
The Thaumachine is weak to Thunder, so Aht's Electric Traps are all but necessary here. My plan for this battle was to cancel the Thaumachine's turn so my party got 6 turns in a row. Both of Aht's actions and one of Stocke's are spent damaging the Thaumachine, while both of Raynie's actions and Stocke's second action are spent killing the Clockwork Thunders.
In this battle I take advantage of a handy quirk with Aht's traps to hit the enemy with two traps while only pushing once. With the turn order Aht>Stocke>Aht, first I place a trap in an empty square, then push the Thaumachine onto that square, then lay another trap in the same square.
Generally the game won't let you lay a trap on top of an enemy or on a space already occupied by a trap (or a Zone, for that matter), but it only takes the initial state of the square into account. If an enemy ends up in a square Aht is set to lay a trap on, she'll lay it and it will immediately trigger. By abusing this, I'm able to hit the Thaumachine with two traps (for about 500 damage, total) while only spending one of Stocke's actions, so he can destroy a Clockwork Thunder instead of pushing the Thaumachine around. The only disadvantage to this strategy is a slightly lower combo level because you aren't getting those extra hits from pushing the enemy around.
After the Thaumachine has lost a lot of health, he'll start using Bull Crash a lot. Bull Crash hits one party member three times, and as you can see it dealt about 300 damage to Raynie, here. Thank God it attacked Raynie, though, because if it attacked Stocke or Aht I probably would have lost this battle.
In the end, I just barely made it through alive. If there was just one more Clockwork Thunder, Aht probably would have died here right at the end of the battle.
Music: To the Future that Awaits Ahead
I've gotta be honest: I expected a little more out of them.
That's just how much they underestimated us. But it was a decisive victory nonetheless.
That was a stunning victory. Is it safe to say you've made a complete recovery, Rosch?
Ugh, I don't even want to think about it, Lt. General. Our next move is hurting my head already.
Indeed... It all really comes down to what Cygnus does next...
"Commanders! Vanoss and the others have some urgent news!"
Oh, so Vanoss came back.
Urgent indeed. What's the matter?
"...The Cygnus army that launched the assualt on Judgement Cliff has been annihilated!"
Music: To the Battlefield
"They'll have more details for you back in the village."
...All right. Let's hurry back!