Part 37: Ride of the ValkyrieMusic: Impending Crisis
Gutral Corps, draw the enemy in! Bring them as close as possible! Don't shoot until you see the signal! They're fanning out, so pull them together and concentrate on that point!
Elm: You issue your commands like a true general. At first sight, I never would have considered you a man who could be depended on. I underestimated you, and for that I apologize.
Hahaha... It's all right. People say that about me all the time. I can command the troops here with confidence, because I know Rosch is on the field. Still, I will give it my all today. For her sake...
Elm: Her sake...?
She was my secretary. When I escaped from Alistel, she protected me, and...
Elm: I see.
Of course, I understand that the fate of the world rests on this battle. It just holds a deeper meaning to me personally. For her, for the world, for us all, we cannot lose here.
Elm: ...... ...We're going to win this, and in that, we are with you!
"Incoming enemy reinforcements!"
Who is the commanding officer!?
"It's the former army of Granorg, the Dias Knights and Count Selvan's troops as well!"
They're playing their aces, so we can't afford to hold back either...! Send up the reserve troops! Get them synchronized with Lt. General Raul's men! We'll crush them!
This is it, Stocke... Our entire army is counting on you now! If Hugo uses that weapon, it'll all have been for naught!
We're here. This is the Royal Hall.
So this is it...
Technically, yes. We're not in the main chamber, though... Still, we can stop the attack if I can seal their power, at least for the time being!
Let's hurry, then.
What is that thing!?
It must be a defense mechanism deployed by Alistel! It's not going to give us a choice! We have to fight it!
Music: The Edge of Green
This dude is actually a little dangerous, mostly because of the Floating Stones it calls.
The Heavy Thautomaton itself has some pretty killer attacks, and the stones like to use Whiteout to deal moderate damage to the entire party. When they all attack your entire party right in a row, at least one party member will probably die.
The trick is to abuse Aht's Volt Star Trap with the Thautomaton, and use fire attacks on the stones. As long as you don't spend too much time healing and you kill the Thautomaton quickly, the battle can be won simply enough.
...If thaumachines have been deployed here... That means Hugo and the others have been here as well.
It seems that way... But only a select few know about the secret entrance... How could they have found out about it?
Through any number of ways, really. My first guess would be that they forced it out of Protea...
Or maybe someone wanted to read a book and stumbled upon the entrance accidentally. Having your secret passage open with the removal of a single book isn't the most secure system.
You think so...? My stepmother was very particular about the political power she wielded. And she had absolutely no interest in the ritual or Flux. All she understood was that because she wasn't royal blood, it had nothing to do with her.
I see... ...Well, we'll have to consider these things later. Eruca, you need to seal the power of Flux...
Indeed. Allow me to begin.
Eruca heads deeper into the Royal Hall.
Huh...? What is this? I feel the strength being sapped from my body...
The power of Flux... Our Mana is being drained...
What? Is the princess going to be all right?
Even with the Etherion, the effect is this strong... What would happen if the ritual were performed without it...?
Stocke notices Eruca on the ground and runs to check on her.
I-It's done... Th-They shouldn't be able to use the power here for some time.
Can you walk? ...Here, take my arm.
I'm all right... I'm sorry to have worried you. But remember, I've only sealed its power temporarily. I will need to perform it again when things have calmed, but that should buy us time.
Right. You've done well. Now the main forces can advance. We should hurry back. I'm worried about Rosch and the others.
Hm... Things are getting rather noisy outside.
It must be Rosch and the others... They've probably pushed back the enemy all the way to the city gates.
Music: Impending Crisis
"Y-You...! How did you get in here!?"
"They must be the Rebel army's secret agents!"
We've got to get out of here and join up with Rosch!
What is going on!? How much longer must I wait before the power of Flux can be used again!?
I don't know why, but all our input is having no effect. We've tried over and over, but something has gone wrong with the control unit.
This can't be! It's useless to me if it can't be used in times such as these!
????: General Hugo.
Ah, Field Marshal Viola! I've been waiting for you! Lead your army to intercept the Rebels at once!
...... Are these orders a proclamation of Noah's will, or a general's personal request?
O-Of course it is the Prophet's will! Protect his disciples from those savages!
Then I'd like to hear it from the mouth of the Prophet himself.
Impossible. You would interrupt the Prophet's prayers for our victory?
You mean to defy the will of the Prophet Noah, then? You, Field Marshal Viola, once revered as the Valkyrie of the battlefield, have fallen so low!?
...... I ask a favor of you, General Hugo. Do not taint the Prophet Noah's name any further.
What are you implying, Field Marshal!?
I will depart with my men now. But I do not lead them for you, or even for the Prophet Noah. This is for the untold number of soldiers who believed in the Prophet's word.
My, my... What a pitiful woman. She realizes the truth, yet has too much pride to defy it.
Which leaves you with quite a dilemma, doesn't it? Viola's not the only one demanding to see Noah. If you let things stay the course, it's only a matter of time before the people riot.
...I don't need another one of your lectures. Preparations are being made.
*sigh* So quick to rely on such dubious methods... Don't blame me if things go awry!
Oh, thank god, it brought us to the other side of the sewer automatically.
The city is crawling with enemy soldiers now, including dudes who can leap eight feet in the air. Our target is the city gates.
(Their equipment isn't standard issue... Are they a different faction?)
! That emblem... The Court Knights! Stocke, those are the finest knights from across the kingdom. If they're here... ...The dangers ahead of us just grew tenfold. We must be cautious.
This cutscene serves as a warning for the boss waiting ahead. Thankfully, even in the middle of a battlefield, the inn is still in business. After we've stayed we continue ahead.
Music: To the Battlefield
Do you know him?
The Court Knight, Dias! He schemed with Count Selvan to put Protea on the throne and usurp the kingdom! And then, when Granorg was in danger, he offered the queen's head to save his own!
...The circumstances won't mean anything if we kill him. It'll throw his unit into disarray. We've got to help Rosch and the rest of the army, so that's what we'll do.
My, my, look who's here. If it isn't Princess Eruca herself. I'd heard nothing but rumors ever since you disappeared... But I'm glad to see you are well.
How dare you...! You'll never be forgiven for selling your homeland to Alistel... And to add insult to injury, you now fight alongside them, against its liberators! You're an utter disgrace, Dias!
What are you saying? All that I did was for the sake of our kingdom. Had the war continued, all of Granorg would have burned. Her Majesty, rest her soul, put her people first and forfeited her own life to that end...
...Do you truly think I have been so ignorant of your schemes?
Your words are poison. ...Throw down your arms and put an end to this.
Hahahaha! So this is your true nature, Princess Eruca!
A pox upon your cries of "homeland"! There is no value in a country ruled by the tyrannical whims of your oppressive monarchy! You fail to grasp this, and yet here you are, waxing poetic about your precious "homeland"! Your ignorance is tyranny incarnate! You are truly the daughter of Victor the despot!
I cannot believe you of all people have the nerve to say that!
I won't let a spoiled brat like you take the reins of power! I will survive to see that through!
Stop this! You must realize how useless your struggle is!
I shall struggle to my heart's content! Men, attack!
Music: The Edge of Green
What the hell?
Instead of fighting Dias himself, we fight his knights, a dinosaur, and a panther. The dinosaur and panther (Gold and Sapphire, respectively) show up in this fight out of nowhere, and are never shown or mentioned outside of this battle.
The usual strategy works. Gold is weak to Ice and Sapphire is weak to Fire. The only problematic parts of this fight is the Dias Guards' tendency to heal, and the possibility of getting overwhelmed by large groups of attacks.
Nnngh... So this is how it ends...
It's over, Dias! You've lost. Now order your soldiers to stand down. Do so, and I will spare your life.
Dias throws a knife at Eruca.
Absurdly, Stocke hits it with his sword, batting it right back into Dias' chest.
You're too naive. As long as men like him live, there will always be seeds of uncertainty.
Don't worry. It's my job to do the dirty work. Now let's go join up with Rosch.
Well done, Stocke.
We're down to mere patches of organized resistance, so let's wrap this up. I'm coming too.
Dias was just a diversion. He was forced out here to buy time. They still have Field Marshal Viola on their side.
I hope we can avoid fighting her if at all possible.
...Well, it won't do any good to stand around here. Let's go, Stocke.
"Prophet Noah! Please lead us with your wisdom!"
"What should we do!?"
Yes... Prophet Noah...
As you wish... I have heard and accepted your most gracious words...
My children! There is no need to fear, for the Prophet Noah has spoken! God tests us now as he always has! A test of the faith in our hearts! Now is truly our ordeal!
"General Hugo! We didn't come here to listen to you talk!"
"Yeah! Let the Prophet Noah tell us himself!"
"Prophet Noah! Please let us hear your voice!"
Stop! Stop, I say!
"Dammit, let me go! You're just a general Prophet Noah entrusted the army to! Stop acting like you're some kind of big shot!"
Nnghh...! Don't you understand!? I said stop!
The man pushes Hugo back, knocking Noah to the ground.
"Th-This is a dummy! It's not a real person!"
"What the hell is going on here!?"
"Where is the Prophet Noah!? Hugo! What did you do with the Prophet!?"
"Answer us, Hugo!"
Silence, you rabble! You dare to raise objection to the words of Noah!? Guards! What are you doing!? Restrain every last one of them!
"Those heathens are breaking into the city! And they've got Beastkind with them!"
Hugo leaves the puppet on the ground and returns to the palace.
"Major Rosch... And Lieutenant Stocke too..."
Ex-Major... to be precise.
"...I'm glad you're safe."
Glad we're safe, huh? Those words aren't usually spoken to your enemy. Do you mean... you won't fight us?
"...Right. Well, there are some that still say they will, though. Alistel is done. I can't believe Noah was a dummy..."
What...? What did you just say?
Noah was a dummy? What did you mean by that!?
"A dummy! A puppet! It's just what I said! THIS is the 'Prophet Noah'!"
"We were all deceived by Hugo! He led us to believe that Noah really existed! We actually prayed to this thing!"
...We fought in the name of a false idea...
Noah... The father of Alistel. We called him a savior, and he hasn't even been here...
Well, he was alive five years ago. That much I know. And I don't mean this wooden mockery. I mean the real man who spoke to us. But after he fell ill, Hugo became his representative...
Noah was getting on in age... He must have died. Hugo could have assassinated him... But at this point, what does it matter? Regardless, Hugo covered up Noah's death and used it to take control of Alistel... He bent the will of a nation to his own desires...
Kiel and all those soldiers fought in Noah's name...
And they died believing! Their faith, their patriotism... They were all betrayed! Hugo... I will show you no mercy!
The screen fades away as Stocke cuts down the dummy.
We head into the palace to chase Hugo.
Music: To the Battlefield
Field Marshal Viola...
????: Field Marshal Viola!
A commander such as yourself must understand the situation at hand. Please, do your men a favor and put an end to this struggle peacefully.
We asked the soldiers of the kingdom we unified to fight. I cannot allow the lives of the faithful to be trampled upon by heathens and savages. Doing so would tarnish the honor of Alistel's army and its people...
Your sense of duty is admirable, but we can no longer afford to be so blind. You must know about Noah... It's already been--
Don't say another word... Don't take away my reason to fight. If you do, no one can take responsibility for the believers. I cannot accept that.
Field Marshal Viola... You mean you intend to act as a scapegoat for Hugo?
I would never! But even now, I am still a loyal servant of the Prophet Noah. You are the Rebel army that draws its weapons against him... And as there is the possibility for you to harm his followers... My duty as a soldier is to ensure that doesn't happen.
Don't you see!? To die here would be meaningless!
Stop, Lt. General... Say any more, and it'll just damage her pride even more.
Do not speak as though you understand after having formed an army to destroy us! ...Enough... Let us end this with our swords... I will show you no quarter, former subordinate or not! Ready yourselves!
Music: The Red Locus
Viola is one of the game's more difficult boss fights. She opens the battle by casting Divine Protection on herself, completely protecting herself from damage for several turns. She's also accompanied by two obnoxious crystals which cannot be moved.
You have to take the crystals out without any trap abuse, and you have to wait for Viola's Divine Protection to wear off before you can do anything to her at all.
She's also pretty damn strong, and her crystal allies like to cast Poison on you.
If you let Viola into the back-middle space, she'll complete a formation. This is a terrible thing and you shouldn't let it happen.
Flowering is her formation attack, and it's pretty much guaranteed to kill the target. It's definitely a good idea to bring a party member with a pull attack into this battle, so you can get her out of formation. This is not an easy battle by any means.
My strategy is to focus on dealing as much damage to the two crystals as possible until Viola's Divine Protection wears off, and then focusing all attacks on her, since she's the real threat. Once she's out of the picture, cleaning up the crystals is easy enough.
Music: Where the Wind and Feathers Return
As expected... Now... Alistel has its reason to stop fighting... The "Valkyrie" has fallen in battle... No one could object to a ceasefire... Isn't that so, Lt. General?
They didn't need a reason. You could have been the foundation of support for the faithful in the restructure...
Had... Our roles been reversed, you would have done... the same thing, Lt. General.
I am equally as guilty for being unable to stop Hugo before it came to this... But there was no reason to fight to such a bitter end.
Then... You take responsibility in your own way. Hugo... has gone...to Alistel.
Viola! Come on, hang in there!
My days... were already... so few... My disease... Please... Just... let me... go... quietly...
Fade to black...