Part 38: Pursuing Hugo
Music: Forever Proud
(I'm supposed to meet Eruca in the Audience Hall today.)
We need to head to the palace. Eruca is waiting for us on the throne.
Sorry I'm late...
Don't be. I'm glad you were able to take the rest you needed.
We found the bastard. Just like Field Marshal Viola said, Hugo turned tail back to Alistel. He's got about 500 of his utterly brainwashed soldiers with him. ...And Heiss.
Then our destination is decided.
...Stocke. There's no future for Hugo. To be quite honest, he would be harmless if we left him as is. Do you still intend to go?
Field Marshal Viola fulfilled her duty to her life's end. We can't turn our backs on this.
...Are you going to get revenge for your fallen men?
At first, that was why... But it's different now.
The people who have been left behind here need to go home to Alistel. And our fallen friends have to be returned to their families... ...Wouldn't you agree?
Stocke... You really have changed for the better. I'm proud of you.
Aren't you guys going home?
We'll fight to the end as well.
It'd be unfair if we went home and you couldn't.
Everyone... Thank you. This will be the last stand. Please lend me your strength for just a little longer.
The civilians seem to have calmed down for the most part. We've managed to dismantle Fennel's thaumatech device as well. As long as the bare minimum of soldiers are left here, there will be no complications. Please go forth without reservation, Stocke.
All right, then I'll leave the rest to you.
We'll come back as soon as Hugo is dealt with.
I shall look forward to it.
Meanwhile, back in Alistel...
Music: To the Battlefield
This was not included in the terms of our bargain, Hugo! You said we would survive if we fled to Alistel... Yet your army is reduced to 500 men, most of them your personal guard! What do you hope to accomplish with such a paltry force!?
...Silence. Granorg's military incompetence is what caused this. The front line collapsed at its heels.
What...!? How dare you slander the Dias Knights! Besides, the failures of the Alistel military are not so easily dismissed! Although, the apples don't fall far from the tree... You failed to destroy them with the weapon!
...Will you shut up? Surely you understand by whose grace you are still even alive?
Hahahaha! Such humorous words! Whose grace, you ask? I can answer that question readily. None other than the Grand Prophet, Noah! Hmm? How is that for an educated guess? Perhaps I should take a moment to offer a prayer for Noah's continued "graces"! Almighty, all-seeing, Grand Prophet Noah! If it is your will, grant me the strength to exterminate the heathens and infidels!
...Am I doing it right?
You scum... Have you forgotten how you came to me and begged for your life after betraying your queen!?
Plead for my life!? Me? Surely you've confused me with someone else!? Do not distort the truth to suit your convenience!
You surrendered. That much should be clear to you.
Ha... What would you know? Dias and I... Our goal was to lay the foundation of a new kingdom. That is why we forfeited Protea. That kept the casualties to a minimum.
...You're saying you used us?
That was the plan... But now Dias is slain, and I am broken. It's over. But that doesn't mean I intend to stay aboard your sinking ship.
You bastard...! You think you can escape!?
Tut, what nonsense. You're the one who escaped. But not for long. The Rebels are on their way to erase you from history itself.
Farewell. It shall be my name they write about in the texts of future generations.
It doesn't concern you. The dream Dias and I shared to give birth to an ideal kingdom will be my reality one day. I'll be remembered as the man who reshaped the world.
Ah... Lofty goals. But alas...
We hear a sound like cutting meat.
Gah...! Y-You bastard...!
Pathetic men like you do not shape history. Hearing you prattle on about it offends me.
Well done, Heiss. You have my thanks for dealing with that wretched mess. Had a man like him been kept alive, I'm sure he would rise to interfere with my ambitions.
...Consider it a parting gift.
I was a fool to think you were capable of creating even the smallest wrinkle in history... My patience with you has run its course. Do as you will with your fleeting life.
If we combine our manpower, we could have well over 1,000 troops...! Besides, the Rebel army is disbanding, and those brutes have returned to their village! We can... With the right strategy, we can turn the tide of this war...!
Really, Hugo... Are you so incapable of seeing the truth without Noah at your side?
...What do you mean?
Your personal guard has already abandoned you...
Th-That can't be!
Selvan said so himself just a moment ago... No idiot would stay on a sinking ship. Your 500 soldiers have joined the winning team... The Rebels.
...That's... That's impossible...
Well, I hate to leave on a low note, but I should be going. Men of power can't seem to do anything right, so I'll have to take care of things myself.
Wait! You can't just leave me! What are you going to do about this country!? My country... Alistel!
The nerve of these imbeciles! Let them have their speeches! I'll show them!
It's time to activate the device! I'll use the sword! The magic blade of time... Historica!
I never imagined that growing so dependent on something could lead to such frailty... ...It just goes to show how strong Noah's influence was over the people.
They believed in him so much, that to be betrayed by him made the despair that much stronger.
...Alistel was united by the Prophet... But I finally understand just how unstable its foundation was...
Yeah, it's not going to be easy getting this country back on its feet...
I agree... They leaned on the Prophet Noah for so much support, they've forgotten how to stand. Our first task will be to give them new reason to live...
Leading them in that direction will be your job from here on.
...Quite honestly, I don't think I'm cut out for the job. That's why I wanted Field Marshal Viola to stick around. With her charisma, she could have done a better job than I will ever be capable of...
But Lt. General... That kind of charisma is what caused the situation we're in. Noah's charisma made this country, and then Hugo's spoiled it...
I understand that. But... She had something more... humane. The Prophet ended up turning the people into marionettes, but her... She was deserving of a much greater end...
...I understand how great a person Viola was as well... But Lt. General, we have to accept that she's no longer--
You're right. I'm sorry. ...I need to do this, now.
...Let's go. We've still got a job to do.
...Right. Where is that Hugo bastard?
He could have gone to his office... But I doubt he'd have stayed there long. He's probably hiding somewhere.
Well, then what's the plan? Are we just going to comb the entire city?
If memory serves, didn't he have an underground sector that he kept sealed off? Hugo depended on Fennel for his dirty work, so that'd be a good place to start looking.
So much has happened since I was chased from here... But I'm finally back. It's time to make a clean incision to remove the rot from Alistel. I know she'll be watching over me...
Music: Machinist Kingdom
For the first time in ages, we're finally back in Alistel. We've got new sidequests, and something I missed the last time I was here.
Hidden behind the item shop is a Fire Pact, which we can use to teach Stocke Will'o'Wisp, a fire spell that targets the center and corner spaces. It's a lot stronger than Fire and I wish I got it sooner.
"We're no longer accepting volunteers anymore, considering the current state of affairs... Oh, but Ditto joined the army a while back. Thank you. Allow me to repay you for that."
While we're here, we can talk to Raul. He doesn't have a sidequest or anything, but there's some worthwhile dialogue.
The rotten parts of Alistel will soon be cut off...
...I didn't know that you were so passionate about this. If only you were this serious earlier on, Hugo would've been...
Yeah... You're right. I used to be passionate and active like you... But that was a long time ago...
You know the story of how Rosch got his Gauntlet, right?
Yeah... He nearly lost his life during an operation...
I was the commander of that operation. It was my first defeat... But the outcome was a trivial matter. I let a lot of good soldiers die, and I was responsible for Rosch's permanent injuries... ...That day I learned what true fear was.
From that moment forward, I stopped taking initiative. That's the me you know. But... That ends here. All of us must take action now, and I am no exception. In order to revive the country the Prophet Noah left behind...
...I look forward to your future.
...I look forward to yours as well.
There's another sidequest for us in the basement if we talk to this guy.
"The Young Lions of Alistel, it has been a while... Going to the underground lab now, aren't you? For the sake of this nation... no, the world! Young Lions, if you're going, would you grant me a wish?"
"Thank you... I ask you to save a certain soldier... my friend."
What can you tell me about him?
"His name is Serro... He should have a Gauntlet attached to his left hand."
"An experimental prototype. Fennel was the one who created it. Fennel pursued nothing but power in the Gauntlet. He didn't consider the safety of his test subjects, and many people died in his experiments. My friend was the only successful experiment, and now he is confined to the lab. Now that the army is virtually wiped out, he'll be trapped there until he dies. Please, Young Lions, save him."
This room is over to his left. There used to be soldiers blocking it, but we can go in now. If we check the weird digital vortex we'll be warped into the secret lab.
I can't believe this place has been right under Alistel Castle.
I can't believe they built it with the country's coffers.
Let's not worry about that right now. Hugo needs to be our primary concern.
Music: To the Battlefield
Damn that Heiss! How dare he come this far to betray me...! I've had enough! I'll handle things myself from now on!
Fennel! Start it!
Are you sure? This device hasn't had proper testing... You should at least have some Etherion--
Silence! Shut up and start it!
Wait and see, Heiss... You'll live to reget betraying me!
Hugo steps into the device and the screen fades to black.
Well, here goes.
Power... I feel the power surging inside... Ngh... Gaaaaaaaahhh!
Was the experiment... a success? Are you all right, Hugo?
Amazing... This is the power of a god... I have obtained the power of a god... Haha... Hahahahaha! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Prophet Noah... I shall purify everything in your name, with my own two hands!
Music: Shadows Dance in the Darkness
The Underground Lab is a huge, boring dungeon. You wander around on copy-pasted wooden catwalks until you find teleporters to go down to the next floor.
Somewhere along the way in a room identical to the previous four, we find a hidden chest with a Wind God Book inside. There's just one more book and we'll have them all.
A little bit deeper is a red Thaumachine.
It's acting strange! Get ready!
The dude opens the battle by immediately wrecking Aht's shit. We revive her and kill him with a single set of Volt Star Traps.
...? Hey, look at his left arm. It's connected to the thaumachine... Is he the soldier we...
"Ugh... So you guys are the ones who... stopped me..."
You're awake. You're Serro, aren't you? We were asked to get you out of here.
"I see... Thank you. But I don't have much time left... I was only being kept alive by the Gauntlet anyway... I'm sure you've heard... I was used as a prototype for the development of the Gauntlets. The experiments pushed my body to the brink... And I can't come back. The only thing keeping me alive was the thaumachine's energy flowing through to the Gauntlet."
...I'm sorry... We...
"Heh... No need to be sorry. I'm grateful for this, actually. I'm glad that in the end, I was capable of free will. And if you could do me a favor, tell my one and only friend how thankful I am."
"Thank you... You have a Gauntlet just like me, so take this. You should be able to utilize it."
Obtained Blast Core
"Now... Go. I'm... fading out... ......"
"System malfunction! System malfunction! Critical error detected in mainframe."
We could go back out and finish this quest now, but we'll need to go back out there later for another sidequest, so we'll deal with it then.
(Is this a switch?)
As we get deeper, the teleporters are turned off and we have to use Manasight to find hidden switches to activate them.
Still deeper in the Underground Lab, we run across this scientist with a sidequest for us.
"My superior is Engineer Fennel. He was researching Gauntlets up until two years ago. But then he suddenly stopped. I wonder why...? It's such a shame he didn't continue..."
(Fennel's Gauntlet, huh...)
Record in White Chronicle
Just a few more floors, and we finally reach our destination.
...Everything I've done has been correct...
We finally find you, and those are the first words out of your mouth!? To hell with you!
My will is that of the Prophet Noah... There can be no mistake of that. No other can hear the Prophet's words, convey them, and enact them accordingly.
Wait... Something is not right...
Music: To the Battlefield
The stabilization of the world... Yes... The Prophet desires purification. I understand, Prophet Noah... I will fill the world with your children, as you deem it so. I will lead them to the horizon of peace... Is that my task?
Who's he talking to? He's creepy.
You there... The swordsman clad in red...
You have power, but it isn't enough to save the world... I will share the Prophet's power with you.
Noah's power? What the hell is he babbling about?
The Prophet Noah's power trancends time and space, and leads people to salvation... I shall grant you that power... And it shall let us spread the Prophet's ideals together...
Is the power of Noah you speak of the power of Flux?
In human language, yes, it could be said the Prophet's power is that of Flux...
And if I had this power, I could bend time to my will... Is that what you're saying?
You can already do that, Stocke.
You already understand it. Such truths are clear as day to you...
Stocke...? What are you talking about?
Haha... You do not have to understand yet. All is guided by the Prophet Noah.
Why would you tell me this? I'm your enemy. One who has done you great wrong, at that. Wouldn't you prefer to use Noah's power to kill us?
As I have said this whole time, I am but a servant to the Prophet Noah and his guidance. I am just a conduit of his will and his words... That is all...
Come on, Stocke! He's gone off the deep end! There's no point in reasoning with him!
Raynie's right. He'd say anything to save his skin! It's clearly a trap!
(All things considered, it makes the most sense to assume that Hugo's words are a trap. But for a man who should be completely cornered, he has a lot of confidence... And most convincing of all, he knows about my ability to travel through time... That being the case, I can't just write off his words as the ravings of a lunatic. This power of Noah... If I were to obtain it, I might be able to stop the desertification... Can I take this leap of faith, knowing the danger? I have to think about this one carefully.)
Take the power
I can't imagine anyone actually picked this expecting anything other than a bad ending.
...All right, Hugo. I'll take this power of Noah.
Stocke! Are you crazy!?
Ah, then you chose wisely...! It is all as the Prophet Noah wills it to be. Now, step forward. I shall grant you power...
So this... is the power of Flux... ......
Music: Impending Crisis
Stocke! You can't give in! Come back to us!
H-Hey, what happened!? Are you okay, Stocke?
There's nothing to fear... His heart has gone to the Prophet. And now it is your turn.
Music: To the Battlefield
But the forces of destruction were too heavy for Stocke's heart to bear. As Stocke's conciousness began to fade, all he could do was watch as his friends fell to Hugo. Hugo the mortal was no more. As a demigod, he became unstoppable.
Music: Interrupted Moment
"Hugo the Omnipotent"
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
Your heart was one step away from being consumed. I hope you remember to thank Aht. She saved your life. However...
Now the only one who can defeat Hugo is gone, and the world will be broken under his heels.
We were almost there... Almost... Stocke, choose the right path, and save the world!
You can do it, Stocke... Don't give up.
Music: Blue Radiance
I don't need Noah's power... My fate is mine to carve.
You would deny the Prophet Noah's power... Such arrogance.
Leave them to me, Prophet Noah. The heathens are driven by their evil ways... But I won't let them defile the land. All and everything... I'll...
You're pitiful, Hugo... ...We'll release you from this madness!
Music: The Edge of Green
Get ready for the most ridiculous boss you've ever seen. Check out his mad attack power:
He's also only got like, 200HP. Hugo goes down like a chump.
Music: To the Battlefield
Is it over!?
No... Not yet!
N-No way! His wounds are healing right up!
Healing...? Hahahaha! What you are witnessing is nothing as simple as that! My power governs time! I need only to rewind the space around my body to reverse the injuries!
Rewind!? What's he going on about!?
Now... That first round didn't tire you out, did it? I am a god, and as such, I demand to be entertained!
Damn it... Is he immortal!? What are we supposed to do!?
You look as though you'd like to know the secret to a god's power... Then I shall tell you! ...I absorbed the power of the blade of time... Historica.
...Historica! But that's Samra's sword!
...So you know of it. The blade is imbued with the power of Flux, said to hold sway over time itself. Having taken that power as my own, I can bend time around my body as often as I need to!
Tch, Flux again!? I'm sick of hearing that word! What he's saying, then, is that we can bring him down if we have the sword, right!? Where is this Historica thing!?
Yes, that's Historica! If we use that blade, we should be able to kill Hugo...!
It's futile! I've absorbed the blade's power already! What you see is no magic blade... It's a miserable pile of steel! No one can kill me! I am a god!
Dammit! What're we supposed to do...!?
There's a flash, and...
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
I never imagined that humans could replicate the power of Flux.
Alistel has been researching it for a long time.
But his power is unstable. You could break through it if you knew how.
He claims to have taken his power from that blade. Is that of any use?
Perhaps... The blade may come in handy, then.
Its power could be restored... And there is one who may know something about doing so.
Yeah, I have things I want to ask him.
Well then, Stocke. We'll leave the rest to you.
Music: Shadows Dance in the Darkness
We're given control again (Hugo is just chilling over to the right), so let's talk to Fennel and grab that sword.
...Tell me how to defeat him.
That... blade... The magic blade of time... Historica... If you use that... He won't be able to... move time back... He is no god... He is... only a man...
The blade has lost its power. How do I get it back?
That blade... It was taken from a warrior named Samra... from Celestia... Perhaps if you went... to Celestia... Agh... The thaumatech...! My... thaumatech! P-Please...! Defeat Hugo! That fool made my thaumatech into... nothing... May he be destroyed...!
Fennel... He said I needed the power of the blade to defeat Hugo. The blade itself apparently came from a Celestian warrior named Samra... Perhaps I'll find something out if I go to Celestia.
Are you guys ready to take down Hugo? Yeah?
I hope you're ready to wait a couple months, then, because we'll be doing that next time!
Man, that joke would have worked so much better a week ago...