Part 34: The Gutral's Trial
Music: Wildness and Toughness
You must liberate our brother Gutrals held captive in the human town of Skalla.
What? There are captive Gutrals in Skalla? They don't seem weak enough to be caught by humans...
You're right that our strength is far beyond any human... That's why we don't like useless fighting. When possible, we try to talk things out. But humans ruin any chance of peaceful negotiation with things like hostages and drugs...
So that's why your people don't trust humans... All right. We only have to free them, yes?
From what I hear, Alistel's army is currently stationed at Skalla. You'll most likely have to fight those humans.
Part of getting you to trust us, is that it...?
That is it exactly. But don't think that we're eager to see humans hurt each other. All we ask is that you free our brethren. How you do it is up to you.
All right. We'll need to get an eye for the situation first. We'll head to Skalla at once.
I've told everyone in the village about you... You're free to make use of the merchants here, if you need.
That'd be a big help. We'll pay them a visit when we get back.
Well then... We'll be looking forward to your return.
We're automatically brought to Skalla.
(That must be it... It seems the Gutrals really were captured.)
Let's head to the inn. I have an idea...
Music: Dreams Showed by a Cloud of Dust
It shows us checking in (I'm not sure why, this could be inferred pretty easily), and then we enter the inn's only room.
So... What is the plan, Tough One?
There are fewer Alistellians here than I thought. That's the key. We'll disguise ourselves as Alistel soldiers and spread false information to cause confusion.
That sounds fun!
Fun...? I guess so, sure.
I see the basic idea, but will it work?
If we hope to keep casualties to a minimum, this is our best shot.
Then we'll need to steal a few uniforms first... Without being caught, of course.
Stocke, Raynie, Marco... I want you guys to handle that part. It'd be impossible for the rest of us to disguise ourselves, with our builds.
Yeah, a big guy and a little girl would look pretty suspicious as soldiers. Sure, okay. We got it covered.
I'll be counting on you guys. All right, then let's split up for now. We'll work on the next step while you guys do your thing.
Stocke, Raynie and Marco head outside the inn. There's a group of soldiers right next to it.
"'S nice bein' an Alistellian soldier... All the booze my poor liver can handle..."
"Yep... *hic* This here's the sweet life."
The perfect targets, wouldn't you say? No one will see us here, either.
Yeah... Let's get this done.
"Hm? Huh? Wh-Whaddaya want?"
Your clothes. Hand them over.
There's nothing special about these guys.
All right... Let's take their uniforms before anyone sees.
I-I'm gonna leave you two to have at it...
Oh! S-Sorry... I sometimes forget that you're a girl at all...
You forget...? You'll pay for that one later, buster.
Come on, we need to hurry.
The screen fades to black
I'm done, Stocke. What should we do about the soldiers?
They could blow everything if they're found. Hmm... Let's toss them in there. Marco, lift the other side.
All right. Hup!
There... That should do it.
And it fades back in...
They're a bit whiffy, though... I smell liquor, and other things I'd rather not dwell on...
...Well, let's get back and report in to Rosch.
Yeah. So what's your general plan?
We'll make a scene outside first. Then you guys will come over in disguise to give them a false report to make them retreat.
A false report? What should it be about?
Anything. You decide. Whatever's fine as long as you get all the soldiers to pull out of town.
All right, we can do that.
Hey, Marc. Come up with something we can leak to 'em.
Whaaat? Why me...?
Fine, fine, all right...
Stocke, give me the word when you're ready to go.
This gives us an opportunity to save or whatever. We talk to Rosch when we're ready.
Shall we change, then?
...What? Aren't you going to change? You nervous about the plan?
I-It's not that! We're going outside! Don't change your clothes until then!
Music: Impending Crisis
All right, our job is to start a little mayhem. Let's leave the rest to Stocke and the others.
Ah, perfect timing... Let's go!
"What the--!? A thaumatech arm... Are you that fugitive Rosch!?"
Oh, so you know me? That makes things much easier! I've joined forces with Cygnus and come to aid Skalla! You soldiers aren't getting your mitts on this place!
Rosch, Aht and Gafka kick the hell out of the soldiers.
Dude, this is totally how people in fantasy worlds talk! (This is the only time the word "dude" shows up in the entire script. It's really out of place.)
"Garland must've sent us his soldiers! Finally, we catch a break! All right, let me at 'em!"
"Awesome! Alistel's way of doing things was starting to make me sick... Count me in!"
The screen fades to black, because animating is hard and expensive.
"Wh-What're you doing!?"
"Shaddap! We've had it with you bastards strutting around town like you own the place!"
"How dare you!?"
"The days of you guys doing whatever you want are through!"
Your plan to stoke their frustration was clever, Tough One.
But at this rate... the rest of the town will be in trouble too!
Yeah, I know. Stocke... You're up.
Sorry to keep you guys waiting so long.
...Looks like it's started. Time for the next phase of the plan.
Alistel Captain: What is it now?
It's a scam! There's been rumors of Celestia's Rebel army marching here! Cygnus soldiers, too!
Alistel Captain: What!? So that's their plan...! No wonder we couldn't find that traitor Rosch...
We also have a message from Field Marshal Viola at the Sand Fortress. She's been informed of the situation and will be sending reinforcements. Your men are to abandon Skalla and head towards Itolia Wasteland. Wait for reinforcements there and get ready to recapture Skalla. That's the whole message.
Alistel Captain: Thank heavens! Field Marshal Viola is sending help...!
The plan is to let the Rebel army occupy the town, then eliminate them all with that weapon...
Alistel Captain: I-I see... What a bold plan! All right, I trust in the Field Marshal's tactics. We'll fall back for now.
Alistel Captain: Listen up, everyone! The tide has turned against us! We're to retreat immediately! I repeat! We are to abandon the village and retreat!
The soldiers in town all leave.
Alistel Captain: All right, come on. Let's go.
Sorry, but you're going nowhere.
Did you kill him?
No... But the rest of the unit will lose all cohesion if their commander disappears. Since they can't figure out what's going on, their efforts to deal with it will be hampered. ...Let's toss him in a cell or something.
Please calm down. We haven't come to do you any harm...
Gutral: We're not falling for that!
It's not a lie! Your Elder and Bergas asked us to come here! They told us to come rescue you!
Gutral: Galva and Bergas...? ...Is this true?
We swear on this Beast Mark that we're telling the truth.
Gutral: Ah...! You really... ...All right. We'll trust you.
Gutral: ...All right.
Gutral: Listen, everyone! We're free!
Music: To the Future that Awaits Ahead
Gutral: Makes me rethink my opinion of you people a little.
The gutrals leave.
Heh. We saved 'em!
That was some impressive acting, Raynie!
It was, wasn't it? Your fake report was pretty good too. They totally fell for it!
Mission accomplished! Let's join up with the others and head back to Forgia.
Through the efforts of Stocke and company, Skalla was liberated from Alistel control. When the Alistel army realized their information was false, they tried to recapture the town... But they met heavy resistance from the citizenry and had no choice but to abandon Skalla. Stocke and the others, for their part, led the freed Gutrals back to Forgia...
Music: Wildness and Toughness
Amazing! You were as good as your word! You have indeed proven your worth.
Then will you consider joining us and Celestia?
Given all you have done for us, I see no reason not to. Bergas! Start making preparations for our departure at once.
The Elder himself is going to Celestia?
Sincerity is answered with sincerity. That is our way.
????: That won't be necessary...
...Is that you, Barranca?
Why is it that fantasy races always have huge lifespans?
Lt. General Raul...! Perfect timing!
I was certain you'd succeeded after hearing that you had all headed to Skalla. Well done, well done. We can now begin the operation.
Stocke is too cool to pay any attention to what these old dudes are saying.
Barranca: Now, Raul, about this operation you mentioned... What's the general thrust of it?
...The time to attack is now. Thanks to Rosch and Stocke, we're in contact with Cygnus as well as Forgia. We took a roundabout way getting here, but the situation is much improved over our initial hopes.
If we're going to launch an assault... The place to do it would be the Sand Fortress.
Mmm-hmm. I was just thinking along those lines. It's just...
......? Is something bothering you?
...It's whatever turned the Cygnus army into sand, isn't it.
Yes... We can't act carelessly so long as we still have no idea what caused that. To investigate the phenomenon, though, we'll need to fight them again despite the danger... In truth, I'm at a loss as to how best to proceed.
...Dangerous or not, we'll have to do this. Why not strike up a real battle royale? I don't know what kind of spell it is, but with both forces mixed together, it'll be harder to use.
I see what you mean... And the faster we move, the less time we give them to come up with countermeasures. In this situation, the best defense really is a good offense. ...Can you two pull it off?
Of course. That Fortress was like a training ground for us.
We know all the ins and outs of fighting there. That should give us a fighting chance.
Then let's head to the newly liberated Skalla.
Yes, that would be our best foothold for an attack on the Fortress.
The plan is taking shape... Bergas, we must get ready to go. Send a message to the village warriors.
...As you wish. I will gather them at once.
We're in control now. There are two sidequests to start, the first of which comes from Galva.
That is why I must ask you... If Gafka could be even stronger... Would you want him to?
The keys to Gutral combat are the fist and Chi. One who has mastered both, and truly believes in himself, is called a Beast God. There is a ritual to becoming a Beast God, but no one has ever become one. And, honestly, I don't know if having a Beast God's power will be of any use to you. But, if you do seek it... Find the "Beast God's Nail" that was taken from our village. If you do, bring it back to Forgia, and we'll try to perform the ritual.
Is that what you want, Gafka? Do you have any interest in becoming this Beast God?
Yes, of course. The Beast God is the mightiest of warriors, spoken of only in legend. It is the Gutral dream. The Beast God's Nail was bestowed on one who trained alongside Bergas, our chief. He participated in a battle at Gran Plain to help a Granorgite friend. He lost his life there, but it is said he took with him a thousand Alistellian soldiers.
...No wonder he's a legend.
Ever since then, the Beast God's Nail has been lost. If you want to look for it, perhaps we should search Gran Plain, where this battle was.
We can't do anything about this now, because we don't have any nodes where we can bring Gafka to Gran Plain.
The other sidequest is given to us by Bergas, who is standing near the village gate.
They must find the four secret books: "Strongman," "Tristrike," "Wind God," and "Omnipedia." By dueling those who find the books, I determine if they are worthy to learn those skills. That is the ritual I must require of all Gutral soldiers. Don't you want to help Gafka acquire any of these skills?
Yes, teach him.
That's the spirit! Then find the secret Gutral skill books scattered far and wide.
We've finally started Gafka's skill quest.
Something I thought was interesting: When you unlock this node, it doesn't write out the full name. In the White Chronicle, it's referred to as "Gafka & the Scrolls", so I guess "Gafka & the Secret Scrolls" was too long. Also interesting: The White Chronicle calls them "scrolls", but the dialog exclusively calls them books.
...I'm very easily interested.
If you acquire this skill, it will make your battles much easier. Now, about this duel between Gafka and myself... Is he prepared to face me in battle? If he is up to the challenge, bring him to me, and I'll put him to the test. However, Gafka must be willing to fight for his life. That's how important these skills are!
Good. You seem ready. Let's begin! This battle is for the secret skill, Musou!
Gafka's skill quest is really bizarre. It's the only skill quest in the game where you have to do anything other than gathering items for some dude, and it's the only time in the game where you fight without Stocke in your party.
Each time you battle Bergas, he gets stronger. The battle for Musou is ridiculously easy, we just change turns with him a few times to get a good row of attacks and then punch him a lot.
Gafka learned Musou.
This is not the only hidden skill I can teach you. Should you happen to find books of these hidden skills, return to me. Gafka! Honor your Gutral nature!
I will take your advice to heart, Master.
Musou is kind of like Aht's Dancing Death, but it has Gafka's absurd attack power behind it and it only targets the center space. It's really useful if you can corral the enemy into the center space, but that can be difficult since all enemy movement skills move the enemy until they hit something.
We don't have any of the other bookscrolls, so it's time to head for Skalla.
Music: Dreams Showed by a Cloud of Dust
...It seems the Alistel army has fortified the road from here to the Sand Fortress. Considering what a ruckus we raised when we liberated the place, that's to be expected. What should we do, Lt. General?
There's no need to worry. Everything is going as planned... We act as before. We'll attack at once and break through from the inside. It's a tactic that only you and Stocke could pull off.
That's true enough, but... The opposition will be serious this time. Do you think it'll go as well as all that?
Oh, it will work. The enemy's morale has dropped significantly. They lost Skalla, after all... ...To a supposedly lowly Rebel army that's taken the offensive nevertheless. Knowing that must be incredibly galling for them. If we press and take out the commander at the Sand Fortress, the battle will be quickly won.
I see... All right. Will I be leading?
Yes, I'll leave you in charge on the ground. I'll take the opportunity to head to Cygnus. There's someone I need to see.
The key figure you've been in contact with?
The very same. I'll be back in a few days. I leave the operation in your capable hands.
Just as Raul predicted, the Alistel army's morale was obviously in decline.
A few days after the operation commenced... The Rebel army claimed victory after victory at each step on the road to the Sand Fortress... Until, at last, they reached their destination.
I didn't think our forces would have reached the Sand Fortress when I returned from Cygnus. In any event, the Gutral warriors certainly are strong. What is this strange power they wield that allows them to so easily defeat the Alistellians?
You must mean Chi.
Chi is a way of interpreting life energy, apart from Mana. It is not used to wound one's opponent physically... Instead, it alters the flow of an opponent's life energy... we win by controlling his center. Gutral warriors are trained in the use of Chi from the moment they are old enough to grasp it.
Quite profound... I am impressed. The fighting will be over soon... I hope we can keep this up.
Rosch, Stocke. The Sand Fortress is close at hand. I believe we should seize this chance to invade... What do you two think?
Funny... I was just consulting Stocke and the others on that score as well.
I say we do as we discussed. Charge into the Fortress and hit the commander at once.
All right, we'll stick to the plan. We'll begin our assault at your convenience.
I'm good whenever.
Then it's up to you, Stocke. We'll start the operation once you're ready.
Hey, look who's here! Convenient, since we have something to give him.
Ah, Stocke! I heard earlier... I guess the last shaman was in this city.
This...? The shaman gave it to me. She asked me to give it to her father.
Handed over Star Seal.
I see... So you were able to see her.
Isla seems to be doing really well.
I see... Please, allow me to give you a reward. I hope you can put it to good use in your travels. Thank you, Stocke. ...And thank you too, Aht.
Obtained Cleansing Cape.
Aht's encounter with the previous shaman will pay off for her in spades. Please, look after Aht.
The Cleansing Cape gives a pretty respectable boost to DEF and MDF, with a bonus 5 to MAG.
Anyway, there's nothing more for us to do here (For now...), so it's time to go onward to the Sand Fortress!