Part 3: Chapter II: To Face One's Sin
Ugh... Where...is this...?
You're awake... What a relief. Please don't try to move! You have a terrible wound!
My name is Aina. I live nearby. I'll take you to my house. You'll be able to rest more comfortably there. So, please just close your eyes and relax for now.
I don't want to be a burden on you anymore.
But...you haven't been a burden... Your wounds aren't completely healed yet, so please don't push yourself too hard.
The wounds don't really bother me all that much. Just being able to move on my own is more than enough.
Don't say things like that... Your injuries were really terrible! Normally, by now you'd be... You're going to leave...even if I try and stop you...
I'm truly grateful that you saved me.
Is that so? Then let me come with you.
I'd rather you didn't. You saw how severe my wounds were, right? I don't know what will happen to me in the future, but I do know it'll probably be incredibly dangerous. So please don't worry about me and go on with your life. It'll be better that way, for both of us.
Weiss, your injuries are healing at a remarkable rate. Even so, you still need more rest before they're healed completely. I am a healer. As long as I have my powers and my life I will dedicate myself to others' well-being. That is why I want to go with you. You're also suffering from amnesia, right? At the very least, don't you need someone that can guide you through this area?
I know it'll come as a complete shock, but Weiss' amnesia is a major plot point.
Fair enough. Perhaps I've underestimated your abilities and you're stronger than I thought. But please don't feel you have to prove yourself. I've already lost one important thing in my life, though I can't remember what. I don't want to lose another.
Weiss... I understand. I won't over-exert myself or put myself in danger. But the same goes for you, too, Weiss. Remember that your wounds still aren't fully healed.
Got it. I'll be sure to watch myself.
The nearest town is pretty far away, so we should rest a little before heading out. I also want to take some time to get ready for the journey. Please wait a bit before you leave.
Aina not only starts tagging along after that scene, but also give you three Grasses, two Cure Grasses, and two Blessed Leaves. Grasses are your simple healing item, restoring 25% HP to a target. Cure Grasses are your typical antidote, removing most bad status effects, and Blessed Leaves are resurrection items. Especially in the first generation, you'll want a full stock of these as soon as possible.
But, before we get to the next big scene, allow me to introduce this world a bit. This is all stuff the characters know already, so there shouldn't be any big spoilers. Like the little movie after the prologue said, long ago there was a war between the 12 Gods of Agarest. 6 Gods representing light, and 6 Gods representing darkness (Summerill descended upon the world during this time, fighting on the side of the Gods of darkness, and is the oldest non-God character in the series by far). The Gods of light are Dialos (god of harmony), Arumana (god of mercy), Mystria (god of wisdom), Julius (god of music), Varna, the goddess queen, and Lenion, who led the Gods of light as the god of light, destruction, and life. The Gods of darkness were Mobius (god of time and space), Nemesis (goddess of spirit and revenge), Mercury (god of craftsmen and trade), Deeth (goddess of fortune, desire, and fate), Mayastia (god of conflict and domination), and were led by Chaos (god of death, rejuvination, and darkness). Since they all emerged from the same one body, all the gods are essentially siblings, but Chaos and Lenion are the only two explicitly stated to be brothers.
The two sides fought for a long time, with the Gods of light eventually coming out on top. But, at that time the world had been shattered and most races extinct. Oh, upon their birth, all the gods created their own race upon the world. Although the games don't all say who created who, Chaos created the syrium (they all have pale skin and silver hair), Lenion the high elves (they've always appeared as elven, obviously, and all have had pink hair), and Deeth created the neocolom (who always have appeared as cat people, with human bodies but having cat ears). As far as I know, those are the only three races whose creator gods have been explicitly confirmed.
Anyway, with the world shattered, the Gods who remained standing sacrificed their bodies to resurrect the world (Lenion, however, remains alive as the mightiest of all Gods), but as for the Gods of darkness, who attempted to usurp Lenion as the most powerful of their ilk, they were all shackled to the world and gave birth to the six continents of Agarest. Mobius in Graccea, Mayastia in Aegisthus, Mercury in Lucrellia (where Weiss currently is), Nemesis in Enhambre, Deeth in Fendias, and Chaos in Zaint Luke, whose enormous power had been bound by the golden sword Weiss pulled out in the prologue. Shortly afterward, six Guardian clans emerged to maintain the will of the Gods of light, who had left the world: Yurle (Graccea), Gruut (Aegisthus), Alister (Lucrellia), Lishius (Enhambre), and the Nebula (Fendias). The final clan, the Sera, lived on Zaint Luke, where Weiss lived before the events of this game, and the clan to whom he belonged.
Anyway, enough introduction. The next scene is just south of the place where you begin controlling Weiss on the world map. The guide of revelation.
I'm fine. We should keep moving toward town. There are more demons around here than I expected there to be.
But... You're right, it'd probably be better if we keep moving. I rarely saw demons around here when I was little... I think the number of demons increased after the -Day of Light-. At least, that's how it seems.
The -Day of Light-?
Oh, that's right Weiss, you probably don't have any memory of it. It happened just before I met you... So maybe it has been longer than I thought since that day. That day, the entire world was suddenly engulfed in a brilliant light. It was more destructive than dazzling. It was as if the gods hurled lightning at the world in a blind rage. According to some of the stories I heard afterward, the light originated from the central continent. Even to this day no one knows what could cause such a disaster. The only thing that's known for sure is that all contact with the central continent has ceased...
Since then demons have been appearing more frequently, which is why some think the light is connected. As do I...
If that's the case, why are you living alone so far away from everyone?
That's kind of... Weiss...
I was using a sword Weiss here, just so I could record enough content for an update before voting closed. Anyway, Aina introduces the Support option, which is the catch-all option for healing items and support skills, none of which Weiss has at the moment. However, assuming they have enough AP, any character can use any healing item, if the intended target is in range. Anyway, there's nothing interesting I can do with it right now.
Aina talks here a bit about battle concepts I did last time. Get with the times! The Hell Dog is nothing special, so just wail on the thing until you get an Ultimate Point.
This is one of the most important Agarest battle mechanics: overkilling enemies. The game explains it strangely, but basically once you kill an enemy, their HP bar will completely disappear and begin filling up with a darker red color. This indicates the damage you've done while the enemy is already dead. If you fill up the bar all the way, you'll Over Kill the enemy and you'll be given a guaranteed drop of an item.
Thing is, it's rather hard to Over Kill bosses in this game in practice, since a lot of stars have to align. That's the primary reason I'm doing my shadow playthrough, just so I can Over Kill every boss with absurdly overpowered equipment and see what they drop.
Let's talk about those three diamond groups at the right side of the battle screen. The top one, SP, indicates how many special points you've gotten in the assault. These are gained by changing the enemy's state of damage (for example, using a move that changes a Downed enemy to a Stunned one). The more you change an enemy's state, the more SP you get. AP indicates if you've gained any AP from an attack. See the green starting to fill up next to Weiss' AP counter there? Once that fully fills up, the player will get an AP bonus, which will be indicated in the diamond.
Wait is the one you'll be seeing most often. By timing your attacks, you'll gain a Wait bonus, like what I'm doing here. I don't think the game ever says what that means, but what I think it does is that the normal Wait you get from using a move is reduced. This is why you want to pay attention to attack animations, so you know when to press the next button so you can get that Wait bonus. Oh, and the number in the little box indicates the AP cost of the next move being scheduled. Since Weiss only has Thunder Spike for Burst attacks, which costs 8 AP, that box's number will never changed.
Every boss in the game has five drops: two regular ones, two rare ones, and one Over Kill. It's entirely possible to get all five in a single fight.
This is the level-up screen. I already explained all six stats in the previous update, but let's talk about reality. For a fighter character, like Weiss is in this build, there's only two stats that really should have your attention: STR and VIT. The thing with DEX is that it increases evasion, which is one of those things that sounds nice, but once you start getting into the middle of the second generation or so, enemies have such absurdly high accuracy they'll basically always hit regardless of what you do. Of course, a strong fighter needs power, and STR increases attack accuracy, also very important for a fighter.
VIT's value should be obvious. The thing with this game is that future characters join at a certain level, meaning their opportunity to grow in one direction or another is hampered depending on when they join. So, characters who join in the third generation don't have as much potential for customization as ones who do in the first. This carries over to maximum HP. If you pump a lot of points into the VIT of a first generation character, then, assuming things are equal (this game has leaked experience, but characters who are not in the active party gain less than ones who are), those characters will end up with a ton more maximum HP than characters who join later.
One last thing about leveling up is that by winning boss battles and completing job requests (to be explained later, of course), you'll gain Party Points. Party Points are basically free level up points, and can be delegated to anyone in the party without needing to be leveled up. Of course, the higher you level up a stat, the more points you need to increase it in the future. I don't know if there's a cap on a stat, but if there is, it is incredibly high.
Stay back, this isn't over yet.
Weiss' golden sword will always appear in cutscenes, regardless if Weiss is using a sword or not. This is because it's an all-important Plot Weapon.
I told you to stay back! Don't come any closer.
Kinda hard to communicate what happened in screenshots, but what happened is Weiss got up after Aina's last line, began charging at the demon, but the demon got a magical bump on the noggin before Weiss and the demon could come to blows again.
God slayer...? I...killed a god? What are you talking about? ...
I have a number of questions for you as well. I think a long talk would be beneficial for both of us. But first, we should probably take care of the vermin before us. Now come, it is time for you to die...
Eva talks about Formations in this battle. Formations are, of course, how characters are arranged. Unlike some games, where you determine the formation of your troops manually, each character in this game has their own Formation. Which character is the current team leader is indicated by a star next to their character tab. Weiss is the team leader here, for example.
Formations obviously arrange your characters in pre-determined ways, but they also provide certain benefits, like increasing AP gain, increasing physical attack or magical defense, increasing drop rates for enemies...all sorts of things. Weiss' formation stuff is determined by what you chose during character creation. I've ended up with a Weiss with AP Gain+ and Physical ATK and DEF Up, for instance, with his formation looking different both times. When it comes to Formations, as a general rule what you want is a fairly spread out arrangement while still allowing any character to reinforce any other. This prevents your team from getting caught in devastating group attack moves, but still being able to get supplies and support to where they're needed.
Grumpy ol' Eva explains this in the video, but this is the pre-battle screen. Four characters can work together to attack an enemy. By rallying to a single attack, all characters will pool their AP for the attack, but at the cost of this, the player must pay an SP cost. The cost depends on how many characters are attacking. Since we only have two characters in-battle, the SP cost for bringing both in is one SP (for three characters, two SP, and four characters, three SP). If you don't have enough SP for an attack, you can proceed, but at the price of every character in the attack incurring a Wait penalty.
The four directions correspond to D-pad inputs. Weiss is assigned to up, and Eva to left for now. If I wanted, I could remove Eva from this formation and have Weiss attack by himself, but I'm not going to do that. You cannot remove the team leader character who is launching the attack in the first place. Once attacking, you can switch characters with D-pad, and the point of doing this is to not have any one character assume the entire burden for attacking. If you constantly attack with a single character, their Wait will build up tremendously and they won't get many turns.
One final note about formations is that by attacking, formations can be broken. Characters can move further away or toward the enemy. The formation will reform upon the team leader's next turn, but you also have the option of having a new character to become team leader. No character who is not in a formation can join in on group attacks. Anyway, this guy died as he lived, unremarkably, so let's go to the results screen for one last thing to talk about battles.
The heart icon next to Eva's portrait here indicates her affection for Weiss has increased after this battle. Affection is *very* important in this game for getting the True Ending. If a character's affection isn't high enough and you haven't seen their important events, you'll get locked out of the True Ending. Obviously, we don't want that to happen.
A non-generation lead character's affection grows after every five battles they're in, but trust me when I say it takes a shit load of battles to raise a character's affection by even one level by grinding battles. A much faster way is to increase their affection via event choices and some other things. Unlike the previous two games, male characters have affection levels as well. Truth and consequences.
Weiss? Are you all right?
Yeah, I'm fine.
I guess my decision to track the power in that demon was the correct one, as it eventually led me to you.
You know Weiss?
I cannot fathom why you treat him with any respect, but yes, I know of him. I also -know of- that demon, and of you.
Who, or what, in the hell are you?
Is that the proper attitude to have when inquiring about someone?
Ah...my name is Aina. This is Weiss. Unfortunately, Weiss has lost his memory. We were on our way to town to see if we could find out anything about him or his past.
Lost his memory? I see... That explains why you, who mindlessly killed a god, struggled against such an insignificant demon.
Oh, you asked me who I was, correct? And how I know of you two? Well, allow me to answer your questions now. My name is Eva, and I am an Agent of the God. I am here to repair this warped and twisted world.
An Agent of the God...? And what do you mean by -this warped and twisted world-? Could the -Day of Light- have anything to do with it?
That is correct... And that is how you people are referring to such a calamitous event, I see... It is as you said. That -light- was the lamentation of a dying god. One that will lead the world to ruin.
Lead the world to ruin... What do you mean?
Why do you call me a -god killer-?
Pity, I thought you were intelligent. What part of the phrase -god killer- do you not understand? And I am here to make sure you take responsibility for your actions. That is why I have searched for you.
What do you want me to do?
You are to retrieve the power of the fallen god and become the vessel from which he will be reborn.
Yes, a vessel. A god died by your hand. However, unlike those such as yourself, gods are higher beings who are far beyond your comprehension. Even if their bodies are destroyed, their power will still remain. Even now it persists, scattered throughout the world. Once you gather it all together, the god that power belongs to can return to their original form. That is when the distortions warping the world will be corrected, and peace and prosperity will return.
And if I refuse to become this vessel, then what?
Then the world will inevitably fall into ruin and decay. And you, of all people, are not in a position to refuse.
I cannot begin to understand why you chose to do something so asinine as lay your hands on a god. However, I think that simply becoming the vessel to pay for your sin of deicide is more than reasonable. Especially considering the price paid by the god you killed. You should be thankful that the gods have chosen to show you mercy. And anyway... What you want doesn't really matter; to become the vessel is your fate. You felt it even as that demon met its death, didn't you? That was the god's -power-.
Do you mean...that demon was infused with the power of a god?
I was...chosen by the gods?
You said you were on your way to a...town...correct? Would this place you spoke of have a place to rest?
Err... Y-Yes, there is an inn...
I have traveled far to find you. Do you not agree that the body requires rest on occasion?
Y-Yes. I'm sorry for not noticing and just peppering you with questions. The town is a bit further on, but I think that we can make it before dark.
I see. Then let us go. Though while I still have time, it is running out for the rest of you. Please guide us there.
Ah, yes, this way. Shall we get going, Weiss?
I swear. You get hammered one day of the month and look what happens.