Part 31: Changing FateQuick recap for those of you who are still here.
We're currently in the Standard History, and we're about to head to Granorg with Eruca to take it back. To do this we plan to enlist the help of the Gutrals, but we needed the Beast Mark to do so. To get a Beast Mark we needed to go deep into the Holf Ruins and defeat another giant spider.
We got the Beast Mark with a Brilliant 44-hit combo last time, and now we're going to see what happens next.
Music: Shadows Dance in the Darkness
So you've obtained the Beast Mark.
Right. And now you'll lend us your aid?
In order to change Granorg, as well as the world, we will need your cooperation.
Indeed... The Beast Mark cannot be obtained by those with impurity in their hearts. I am sure the people of Forgia will rise to your call.
Like I said... Leave the rest to me. I am certain Forgia's Gutrals will stand by your side.
We did it, Princess!
W-We did indeed!
I... have always wished for a future where humans and Gutrals can live in harmony. I hope that this will be the first step toward realizing that dream.
Certainly! I, too, share your vision.
Now... There isn't much time left. I will gather my people as quickly as I can, but it will still take time. I believe it would be best for you all to go on to Granorg, but...
But if we go together, we will have an even stronger force.
Exactly. I leave that decision in your hands.
(Time is definitely of the essence right now... We can't afford to let Dias fortify his defenses, but what Eruca said is true as well. Still, if they've already fortified, then it will be imperative to go together...)
...I need a moment to think this through.
Very well. But do not tarry.
A node appears, so we're able to save before making this important decision. I'm really thankful for this, because it would be awful to have to go back through the dungeon to get the bad ending and then continue with the story.
After saving, we speak to Bergas and tell him we've made our decision.
(But if their defenses are solid, it's wiser to wait for the Gutrals instead of attacking now. I have to think about this one carefully...)
Lead the way
We're going to launch a raid and take out as many of them as we can. Try to catch up with us as soon as you can.
Understood. We will endeavor to meet with you quickly.
I'll be counting on you.
We cut to Stocke running through the Granorg palace.
Could the little mouse have been so blind as to enter the lion's maw of his own accord?
Surrender. You are all that remains.
Stocke cuts down a soldier and runs.
You shan't escape!
Stocke headed to Granorg without waiting for the arrival of the Gutrals. Having gotten as far as the palace, Stocke believed that all was going according to plan. Instead, he walked into Dias' trap. They saw no soldiers in the city only because the palace was to be the stage of the ambush. The palace gates closed behind them, and the onslaught of an entire army surged forth... Stocke and his allies were truly trapped like rats in a cage...
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
You may be strong, but against those odds, even you were doomed. It's a good thing you can escape to Historia. No one can chase you here.
I'm just glad you made it back here alive. But have you considered why the plan ended in failure this time? It doesn't look like the teamwork idea played out as you'd hoped...
It depends on the situation, of course, but I think you should put more faith in them.
You can do this, Stocke.
Music: Shadows Dance in the Darkness
A hasty assault won't really change much. What we need to do now is combine the forces we have effectively.
So, you'll wait to launch your assault until we arrive. All right. Then let us dive into the fray together.
I wish I could contact the Resistance somehow.
That's too risky. Granorg's watch is too tight right now. We shouldn't depend on their help. We should do this on our own.
A few days later...
...! This is...!
Music: Impending Crisis
The Resistance members! No... We came too far for it to...
They're all dead...
Why...? Why would they have done something so rash!?
They must have taken a stand after they heard what we were doing. But... They weren't strong enough...
Otto was a leader... Pierre was so intelligent... and Will was a master swordsman... The Resistance was strong because those three knew the meaning of teamwork. That's why... If even one of them was lost...
...Even with the Gutral reinforcements, breaking through this would still be difficult. There isn't much we can do...
...I must inform the Gutrals bringing up the rear of this.
I'll come with.
There's a flash, and...
Hm, I don't see why that wouldn't be possible.
I'll have to use the White Chronicle for that, but I'd like to hear your opinions first.
Well... The fates of Will and Otto seem bound together. If you save Will, you should be able to save Otto. But the same cannot be said about Pierre.
To save Will, all he needs is the means to fight. But to save Pierre, you would have to change his feelings... If you protect what's precious to him, perhaps you can change his emotional state. The key lies on your way to the palace... Pay close attention to the shadows.
I see... I'll have to give it some thought.
Alright, let's get to it. But first, let's stop by Vainqueur's place and teach Eruca her last skill.
Eruca learned Holy Light.
Vainqueur: Things may be tough now, but don't give up. The future still has hope.
Holy Light revives all fallen allies and restores most of their HP. It's extremely useful if Eruca is the last person standing in your party, but she isn't very durable so that doesn't really happen very often. A pretty good spell, nonetheless.
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
This happens the first time you go to Historia after obtaining the Beast Mark.
With that in your possession... You can strengthen your Mana Burst even further.
It will add the Beastkind's power to the power of Flux. Well? Are you ready?
Stocke glows white, and then black.
The power of Mana Burst has been strengthened.
That seems to have worked quite well. Mana Burst's new effects will vary depending on the wielder. Your previous Mana Burst skills are still available, so use them depending on your need.
New Mana Bursts, eh? All right, we'll give them a try.
Now then, what will you do?
The new Mana Bursts are sometimes useful, and mostly interesting to look at, so I'll put together a video of them and type up explanations later. For now, let's head to Granorg.
We head for the node Castle Sewers. We have important story things to do here, but we've also got an important sidequest, which we'll get out of the way first.
Music: Forever Proud
Hm? What's the matter?
The guard asked me to escort you to him.
Oh, for heaven's sake... Him again?
You don't want to see him?
Well... Hm? Isn't that... Let me see that thing you're holding, Stocke.
What, this letter?
Handed over the Letter to Liese
That's... Satyros script... When it rains, we soak together. When it is hot, we burn together. We endure as clouds, peacefully.
He had that with him.
What!? But these are... Satyros vows... For our weddings... So he wants to...? Hmm. Stocke? What do you make of this letter? Do you think he means it?
(Judging from the contents, I'd say he wants to marry Liese. But I don't know if Liese is quite ready for that. I can't be the one to decide their future. What if things get worse as a result? What I say now might influence her feelings... I have to think about this one carefully...)
Leave it to her
(It's Liese's life. She can decide for herself...)
If you don't want to see him, I won't force you. You should follow your heart. Sorry, but... That's the best advice I have for you.
No, don't apologize. It's not your fault, Stocke. I guess if my mind's already made up, I shouldn't see him. Yeah, it's settled. There's no point in going to him.
All right. (That may be for the best...)
"Go, go! Drive the damn Beastkind off the continent!"
Elm: Rise up, my brothers! Don't give those humans an inch!
"It's a Gutral! Those are the bastards that killed the guard captain! We'll never forgive you! Chaaaaaarge!"
Liese and the Guard Captain never saw each other. He died in Abyssia Forest. The search party that found him assumed that the Gutrals killed him, sparking a war. As time passed, the rift between humans and Beastkind widened irreparably. Conflicts between the two would arise again and again...
"Chains of Hatred"
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
I had no idea their relationship would have such an effect on human-Beastkind relations. Fate is truly an enigma.
This may have gone unnoticed had you not become involved. But you are entangled in this now. Please find some way of saving those two.
Music: Forever Proud
(He taught himself the Satyros language to honor their customs. If he was that serious about making this work, I think I can trust his intentions...)
Trust him. It proves he tried his best to understand your people. I believe humans and Beastkind can coexist, and that letter is the proof.
...You may be right. I guess I shouldn't be so obstinate! Okay, I'll go see him!
Let's go talk to the guard captain and see how it went.
"She told me you were the one who talked her into it!"
Did she? Glad it worked out.
"She promised to visit me every time she was in the city! I owe you one, so take this with my thanks!"
Obtained Promised Knife.
"Thank you so much!"
The Promised Knife has a pretty big magic boost, but it drops your max HP by 30. Aht isn't terribly durable, so I didn't equip it.
Now that we're done meddling in the affairs of others, let's get started on keeping the resistance alive.
Our first stop is the sewers, which aren't nearly as terrible now that we can cloak and run through everything.
If we wander around the sewers enough we can find this girl. I think on your first trip through the dungeon you can actually see the top of her head when you throw a switch, so she's hard to miss.
Claire: I was having an adventure in the waterway, but I got lost... Please, could you help me outside?
(If I help this girl get out of the waterway, I'll have to go back to the entrance. I'd have to put going to the palace on hold... Can I do that?)
Let's take her outside
...All right. I'll get you out of here.
Claire: Yay! Thank you!
Claire is now accompanying you.
While Claire is accompanying us, we can't go to the palace exit of the waterway. If we try to go in that direction, Stocke says something about how he needs to take Claire back to the entrance first.
Claire: Ah, yes! I should give this to you!
Obtained Small Satchel
Obtained Holy Water
What's in the bag?
Claire: Hehehe, it's a secret! You can look at it later!
...Okay. Thank you.
Claire: Thanks for helping me! I hope we meet again!
(An unexpected setback. Now we've got to head for the palace.)
And by "the palace", Stocke means the node: The Resistance.
Will: Hm... Is that a Sand Sword that you have there?
Yes... I'm impressed that you noticed, even without me saying anything.
Will: Its shape gives it away. Only a Sand Sword has that unique shape. It seems to be in pristine condition. It should cut much better than mine.
I made you a promise. This Sand Sword is for you.
Handed over Sand Sword.
Will: Thanks! With this sword, I can take on any number of the queen's troops! Please accept this. It's not much, but it's all I've got.
Alright, that's all we have to do to proceed with the story, but there's still a sidequest to be done. Still in The Resistance, we head for the gallows.
Awhile back this guy got himself killed by standing up to the soldiers, so we went back in time and stopped him from being a dumbass. Unfortunately, I forgot to come back to the present and talk to him again when I did this quest, so I never resolved it.
"Do you remember me? I'm that man you talked out of doing something stupid. I finally realized that I had to stand and fight. It's not easy, and I may not win... But it's the only way. So now I'm trying to get the world to realize the truth here. The Resistance introduced me to some comrades."
I see... Are you going to be okay? They're likely going to try and silence dissenters like you.
"I told you, I might not win. I've got to do what I can. Maybe the truth spreads, maybe it doesn't... But I'll be giving it my all, and that's better than throwing my life away. Oh, please take a copy of our book. You guys seem pretty tough, so I think you'll be particularly interested in its inserts."
Obtained Left-Cut Scroll.
"Well, let's work hard to accomplish our goals, then. Don't get in over your head, though. Hahaha...."
With that finally resolved, we head to Granorg while the soldiers are fighting the resistance.
That guy in the lower-right isn't a part of the cutscene, he just noticed me and is about to chase after me to fight.
Will: Don't... speak of me... like one of the dead...
...If you're alive, what are you doing on the ground? Anyone would mistake you for a corpse.
Will: How harsh you can be... Excuse me, but can you lend me a hand?
Stocke helps Will to his feet. (The screen fades to black and he's standing when it fades back in. You didn't think they would actually animate that, did you?)
Your wounds seem fairly light. Are you all right?
Will: Quite. It's all thanks to this Sand Sword I bought from you. The one I'd been using broke on slicing through my third foe. If not for this sword, well... I shudder to think.
Will: But there's no time for this! The soldiers have advanced towards the tavern! Princess Eruca is in danger! *wince*
Take it easy. Leave Eruca to me. You should get out of the city as soon as you can.
Will: ...Yes, you're right. I'd only be a burden to you as I am... The princess... Her life is in your hands...!
I know... I'll make certain Eruca's safe.
After this point, the scene plays out as usual. On the way to the tavern we pick up Aht, then as we try to escape with Eruca and Pierre the waterway is blocked and Pierre betrays us.
Pierre: But I guess one's found me.
????: Stop this, Pierre!
Claire runs out from behind the tavern and stands between Stocke and Pierre.
Claire: Why are you doing this...?
Pierre: Claire... I just wanted a better life for you. If this works out, I'm going to get a huge bounty! Remember that thing you wanted?
Claire: I don't want that! I just want to be with everyone!
"All right, that's enough. It's time to put an end to you filth."
Pierre: Hey... What's this about? That wasn't the agreement! They said if I gave them the princess, they'd let me and Claire...
"Are you stupid or something? If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is! You'll go to your grave here, lowborn weakling!"
Claire: Hey, do you still have the bag I gave you?
This is a flare! What were you doing with this...!?
Claire: I snuck in one of Pierre's! Shhh! Hurry and toss it!
Here goes...! Pierre! Close your eyes!
We disappear in a flash.
"Dammit! They ran off! They can't be far! Find them and kill them!"
We can talk later. Just get Claire to safety, now!
The longer you stay here, the more danger you're putting everyone in. We'll take care of things here. You've got to escape.
Pierre: ...W-Why? I betrayed you all...
Pierre! It's too dangerous for you in this city! Don't you see? You can't stay! Head for Cornet Village! I have friends there!
Pierre: M-M'lady... I understand... I am in your debt until I breathe my last!
Pierre: Claire, we're going to take a trip, okay? Come with me!
Pierre and Claire leave.
Good, now it's our turn to get out of here!
Yes! Let's head for the Sand Fortress. Otto will be waiting for us there!
You may remember in the original timeline, Pierre fought us. If you rescue Claire on your first trip through the sewer, like I did the first time I played, you never see that battle.
On our way out of the city, we can finish up another sidequest.
"Worse still, Dias isn't carrying around my sword anymore... Where did he put it?"
You may remember this guy wanted us to retrieve his family's sword from Dias.
Is this what you're looking for?
Handed over Rose Sword.
"Oh, yes! That's it! Thank you! Now I can go home! Here, take this as a token of my appreciation! You've earned it!"
Obtained Rose Ring
"Thank you very much!"
The Rose Ring raises HP by 10 and attack by 5.
Now that we're done here, we head for the Sand Fortress. When we arrive, Otto shows up and goes ahead into the fortress, then we follow. Everything proceeds as usual until...
Music: Impending Crisis
*GASHUNK GASHUNK GASHUNK*
Wh... What's that sound?
Otto: Bah... We've picked up a troublesome tail. You're hearing the Executioner's Footsteps... It's Palomides' division of the Dias Knights. When they're on the march, it sounds like no other troop in the army. It's eerie.
*whimper* I don't like it... I'm scared...
Otto: ...Oh, well. Hey, Stocke.
Otto: I'll buy you guys some time. Take Lady Eruca to Cygnus.
Otto, what can you do with so many injuries...?
Otto: My goodness... What an honor to have the princess herself worry on my account! It puts a spring in my step... I feel like I could keep fighting even to my death.
????: I applaud your desire to make yourself useful, but aren't you forgetting someone?
Will! You're alive!
Otto: Will... You...
Will: I'm a bit miffed you thought I'd die so easily. I heard it all. Would you like another helping sword?
Otto: ...You can say that again!
Otto: Well, I'm just about satisfied. But first... Stocke. Look me in the eye... ...... Good... That's what I wanted to see. I think I can trust you with Lady Eruca. She's in your hands.
All right. ...I'll see you later.
The twins (I don't think they're actually twins, they just reused the sprite) head to battle Palomides.
Let's head for Cygnus!
And that's it. We can proceed with the story now. But first...
Marco learned "Spin Slash".
"That's all four sword scrolls! Thank you so much! That means Marco's learned everything I have to teach him!"
Thank you. I think I can feel myself becoming stronger. Take more care of your scrolls in the future.
"Haha, I will. Goodbye, Marco."
Left Assault's function goes without saying, but Spin Slash is a physical attack that hits a single enemy several times. It's basically a bad version of Aht's Dancing Death, since it only hits five times.
Next time, we'll finally begin our assault on Granorg!