Part 5: Chapter IV: To Reveal The Key
Incredible view, isn't it?
It means there is nowhere to hide.
In the past, you wouldn't see many demons in such a wide open place like this.
Yeah. This must have been the perfect place for picnics back then. With the recent rise in the demon population, I wouldn't recommend wallowing in nostalgia just now. Though, it's not like there were any safe places left in the world when I was born.
Must you always be so impatient, my queen? Perhaps you could spare a moment to hear my words?
Then, continue...if you must.
Places like this have -landmarks-. If you proceed using those -landmarks- you shouldn't have to worry about getting lost. Even if you've never traveled in a particular area before, you should be able to reach your destination.
Don't worry, I'll be able to guide you to the road that leads to the forest.
For now, the only thing we need to be concerned with is if there are any demons lurking nearby... I'm sorry I won't be of much use against demons, but I will stay out of the way as much as possible.
It is my fault that you're crippled as you are. Don't worry about demons; I'll take care of them.
And by -I'll- you mean -we'll-, right?
Thank you. But Weiss, do not feel you're responsible for my condition, all right? I was never very good at physical activities, so it'd be the same whether I was injured or not. Really, it's okay. When I was traveling with you before, I became very good at hiding from danger. And thanks to Aina's efforts, I'm in much better health than before, especially my right side.
But, what about your eye...?
Are you finished talking? If so, then let us go.
Oh, my sincerest apologies for keeping you waiting, Your Majesty. The Great Iliya Forest is on the other side of this ravine. It's kind of dangerous, but we should be okay... Now then, Your Majesty, shall we be off?
Weiss, may I speak with you for a moment? It's about your sword...
What is it?
It might be in your best interest to keep it hidden whenever possible. It's my belief that was happened was an accident. However, there may be those who do not think as I do. That's why...
Yeah...I think I understand. I want to avoid any meaningless conflicts until this is over. After that, I don't care what happens.
We'd better get moving before they leave us behind.
Our first dungeon, the Aldo Plains. Each dungeon in the game works similarly to this one. You'll be presented with certain areas that I like to call battle points. By clearing battle points, you can continue on into the dungeon until you reach the end. Sometimes, events themselves may happen in dungeons, or boss battles. Of course, both can happen in the same dungeon, and if anything special happens at a battle point, you'll see an "Event" icon floating over the spot.
Let's talk a bit about the battlefield. See the yellow and green tiles? See how the Vampire Bat is marked as "Outside"? Although you can target any enemy on the field, you'll want to double check if the enemy is in range or not. If the enemy you're attacking is marked as "Outside", then your accuracy and power against the target is significantly reduced. You'll want to avoid targeting those as long as possible. Thankfully enemies have to follow this rule, too. If they attack one of your guys who is in a yellow square, they'll be similarly punished.
Both your team and the enemy have their own half of the battlefield to work on. Although the enemy doesn't suffer from being your side of the field (indeed, bigger enemies can be complete assholes and take up a large part of your field and prevent formations from joining together until the enemy team reforms on their turn), you do by being on theirs'. Any of your characters on their side of the field suffers a defense and attack penalty.
Although I already screenshot the level up screen, I'd just like to comment on how Weiss ended up from being a Knuckle-using Battle Mage. His STR and INT ended up surprisingly high, and with those stats, he's a much more reliable hitter than Jainus. On the flip side, though, his VIT was quite poor, so I'll have to spend extra points to build Weiss' durability. When I can actually get new spells, rest assured I'll be putting them on Weiss. Having a Battle Mage who can just punch things good sounds like ripping you all off.
And a note about Eva, given I'll probably end up using her a lot. She's also good at hitting targets with physical attacks, and she has kinda-good magic, but her defense and total HP is poor. I'd advise ignoring her physical attacking prowess completely, since that's just not what niche she fills in the party. I would strongly advise building her as a straight mage by increasing her VIT and INT at much as possible.
As for Jainus, work on improving his STR and VIT. For Aina, her INT, VIT, and look into AGI. Aina is pretty fast right now, but if she's faster than the enemy, we'll be given first-strike capability against many a foe, and this game is all about offense. Playing on defense is not the way to win at this game. Oh, and magical attacks, unlike physical attacks, will always hit, no matter what. Well, that's not entirely true, as there is a skill that allows enemies to dodge magical attacks, but don't worry about that for a long time. Also, I should mention that the HP of every character will completely replenish after nearly every battle you finish, and all negative status effects will be cleared.
When you're given a branch choice like this, invariably go for the branch, rather than charging straight through. If you do the branches, you'll always be given some sort of reward (for instance, for winning the battle here at Ombrage Pecora), I got Grass and Silver Ore. Obviously not wonderful rewards, but the key point here is that branching battle points can contain some great weapons, armor, accessories, or even some really special items you can't get anywhere else. I mean, in another branching path in this dungeon, I got a Paralysis Guard, which I put on Weiss to increase his ATK, DEF, and RES. It pays to explore.
Sometimes when you get into a generic battle, this will happen. The "going to battle" wipe will be red, and you'll begin the battle in a bad spot: your characters will be all scattered across your side of the field at random, and the enemy will always act first. Depending on the point in the game, these fights can be a death sentence for your team. Accordingly, save frequently. Because of how this battle system works, a generic battle can completely wipe you out if the enemy gets the initiative in a fight and you don't get the chance to interrupt them until each of them has gone. And it'd be a crying shame if all your time went to waste because you got unlucky.
Later on during the same fight, Weiss got KO'd. Here's the thing with items: although each item has an effective "range" (for example, the Grass can only be used on characters who are three squares away. Like, 3 squares up from the user, or 2 squares up and one square left), the Blessed Leaf can be used by anyone from any range as long as they part of a formation. So, if you're looking closely, Eva is four squares away from Weiss, but she can still resurrect him. This is because Weiss is in Eva's formation, bypassing the typical requirements for item ranges. Only ressurection items have this distinction, I believe.
Also, for this dungeon, your enemies are going to be Jumbo Cocks, Worms, Mages, Goblins, and Vampire Bats. The Cocks and the Worms are the most dangerous enemies (and that is a sentence I really, really hope I'll never have to write again), but both are vulnerable to Water-based attacks, which Aina's Original Skill, Crying Happiness, is. Both are pretty much guaranteed to get Over Killed if she attacks them with Crying Happiness.
And here's a complete look at the Aldo Plains. One of the very few dungeons that doesn't get expanded upon in subsequent generations. There's a short scene with Jainus and Fastie after leaving, but nothing worth covering.
And here's the Great Forest. You'll have to fight a couple battles to reveal the Holy Cavern Mystifique, which is where you need to go to find the Key. Beware, the enemies you'll fight here right now are bothersome. Their evasion is annoyingly high, and they're highly resistant to magic. This is another plus of Original Skills - they will never, ever, ever miss. The enemy may absorb the damage, yes, but they'll never miss. Anyway, onto finding this wonderful Key. The Key
If any place was going to cause a certain level of wary curiosity, it'd be a place like this...
Did you find something?
Get back. Ha!
*Cough* D-Did you need to use quite so much...violent and overwhelming force...
I did warn you to get back.
That's true, but...
No...it couldn't be...
-This- is... You mean this -girl- is the -key-?
This is exactly what I mean.
This is the place where they chose to seal her away. What other reason would there be? But that is a matter for another time. I require your assistance now. Aina, please check on her condition.
I don't think she's in danger of dying, but she is weaker than someone who's been sealed should be. I suppose that is the reason why I couldn't sense her presence until I was this close to her.
Is she all right?
Other than being really weak, she is all right. However, there's nothing I can do for her using my powers.
So in this case bed rest would be more effective than magic.
I will have your knowledge be of use to me.
If my knowledge is to be used to assist Weiss, then I will gladly help you.
That is enough...for now.
Let's head back to town.
Right, let's hurry.
You actually do have to run back, instead of just warping there. The game will warp you where you need to go just a few times, for the record, but most of the time you'll have to hoof it. Soul Successor
She seems to be all right now.
That's a relief.
So she is supposed to be the -key- that will save the world...
I have a vague idea of what's to happen, but... I do not know what sort of -key- she is supposed to be. However, I believe that the answer to that question will be answered when the time comes.
Damn, the gods are pretty sketchy, aren't they?
It is not your place to make judgments on the actions of the gods. To continue: I do know that this girl is a high elf.
Did you say high elf?! That isn't possible... High elves have been extinct for...?! If she is a high elf as you say... No...it just isn't possible...
Okay, so, in Agarest Zero, high elves were not exactly plentiful, but they were still around. You meet two during the story, and there are presumably several more. Thousands of years later, in the first game, though, and high elves were definitely a species in decline. In fact, the entire point of the high elf girl, named Ellis, joining the party officially was to help build a world where high elves could prosper again.
Obviously, if this game is a sequel to the first game, that didn't end up working out, even if Ellis' journey to defeat Summerill was a success by the end. In this game's story, no high elves have been known to exist for a long, long time. As I mentioned, they are the spawn of Lenion and the most powerful non-God race in Agarest. On their flip side, however, are the dark elves, which is a separate species. Normal elves, although we won't meet many during the story, are descended from high elves.
Among the powerful abilities of the high elves is the ability to summon larvae from the Boundary Plain, basically an alternate dimension from Agarest. Larvae are incredibly powerful and unrivaled in terms of physical strength. High elves are capable of bending these larvae to their will and by summoning them into Agarest and making them their servants. Larva are basically proto-Gods, and they are among the only species that were in previous Agarest games, but not this one.
The existence of high elves is a momentous discovery, but aren't you acting a little TOO surprised?
Err...well...perhaps you're right...
If I recall, weren't high elves called the -children of the gods- because they were one step below them?
They were called so due to their incredible magical powers.
Then that must mean...
What do you intend to do to this girl?
I believe I warned against making paranoid speculations, yes? That warning applies to all of you.
Well, perhaps this is as good a time as any to share with you a few more important details. I have already explained that Weiss is the ordained Spirit Vessel. The -vessel- that is responsible for collecting the power of the god and storing it. However, the vessel has its limits, regardless of whether it has been filled or not. Unfortunately, that is the case when a human is chosen to be the Spirit Vessel. So then, what is to be done if the chosen vessel can no longer be used and must be replaced? The answer is simple. A new vessel must be prepared.
This conversation just took a definite turn for the worse.
On the contrary, it is a most agreeable way to end all of this...just not for Weiss.
We have now located a new vessel. The problem is now: how will it inherit the power? The power must be transferred from one to the other, but the new vessel is not strong enough yet. Therefore, the power must be temporarily stored somewhere. And when the proper time comes, the power will be released and stored in the intended vessel. That is the role of the -Maidens of the Pillar-. They are to be the ones who support the vessel.
Using the power of the maidens, the -power- from the vessel is stored away and sealed... So the vessel is not sealed, merely the power it is supposed to contain... And what is to happen to the vessel? Furthermore, what about the fate of the -pillars-? Once they have fulfilled their roles, what will happen...
I don't care what happens to me, but I wil not allow you to get anyone else involved.
Then what should be done then? If you know of another way, by all means tell me.
Aren't you being rather unrealistic and more than a little unfair? To begin with, exactly how do the chosen Maidens of the Pillar come to hold the power of the god? It sounds like it's totally different than what happened to Weiss, you know? You still haven't given us a logical explanation about how a god's power could be scattered as you say. Without any evidence, how can you blame us for being suspicious? You might've made all of this up.
Whether you choose to believe me or not is of no consequence.
Is that fact not sufficient for you?
How do I go about finding it?
You have no need to worry. All you need to do is simply -be-. Your own latent powers will guide you, just as they did when you first met Aina. And the -vessel- will react to demons in which the power of the god resides. At the same time, the vessel and the pillars will unconsciously seek each other out. You understand, yes?
Oh yes, one last little detail: You will need to choose which Maiden of the Pillar is to bear your child. If you do not, the child who is fated to become the next Spirit Vessel will never come to be. And if you refuse, I will make you fulfill that responsibility by any means necessary. That I promise. Then again, that may be for the best now that I think about it. After all, there is no reason to burden others with your misery, right?
Are you batshit insane?!
Let's be honest: not an entirely unfair question given how Eva's been talking this scene.
This is lunacy! Everything about what you've just said is absurd in the extreme!
Insane or not, you cannot argue with the facts. And the fact of the matter is that I killed a god.
And I hope that you are not thinking about a way to escape your certain fate. You need to accept what destiny has planned for you, just as Weiss has.
There is still time to contemplate what is fated to be for you. But only a little, though.
You can wallow in sentimentality when the time comes, if you so desire. It will be some time until she awakens, correct?
Ah, yes. She still needs to rest.
For now, you must focus on locating the demons that are infused with the god's power.
If that's what needs to be done, then we're definitely in the right place...
Aina, please keep an eye on the girl.
Jainus, I need you to show me around.
Well that was some crap, but at least there's a reason why Weiss has to have a child before too long. Next stop after that scene is the Hunter's Guild, obviously. As a bonus video, though, as this update is already chatty enough, and this one isn't very much related to the plot. All you need to know about this one is that a cat lady named Ingrit is running the Hunter's Guild, and that she has a job request board where citizens of the town post requests and hunters fulfill them.
And then, after that, another scene with the elf girl. Last long scene of the update, I promise. Child of the divine
Is something wrong?
The elf girl we found is awaken now. I thought you'd want to know so I came looking for you.
Is everyone else back at the inn?
Yes. You were the only one still out and about. Now, we should be getting back.
There's nothing wrong with her physically that I can find. It's just...
Aina, who's this person?
Yeah, that's right. And what's your name?
Um...Fiona. Yeah, Fiona!
Fiona, what a nice name. How are you? Do you hurt anywhere?
No, I'm all right. I don't think anything hurts.
That's good to hear.
Hey Aina, where is this place?
This place? It's the Kokuriko Inn in Frensberge.
Frensberge? This isn't Misty Tear? Where is my family?
Misty Tear is...was...a place considered scared by the high elves. This girl must be...
Say, Fiona. Do you remember anything? Like, what you were doing before you fell asleep?
Before I went to bed? Mmm...well... Huh? What was I doing? Mmm... A large cloud of darkness...? And then it suddenly got really, really dark... Hey, where are my mom and dad?
They are not here.
Where are they?
Aren't here? Why aren't they here?
For god's sake, she's just woken up after who knows how long!
And I care, why? The truth is the truth. She has the right, and the need, to hear the truth.
My mom and dad would never go anywhere without me, you know?
When we found you, you were asleep. We don't know why, though.
You were sleeping in the middle of a dense forest for what looked like a long time. There weren't any signs of other people around. You were the only one we found there. Do you remember why you were left in such a place?
Sleeping in the forest feels good, but my dad always told me that I had to sleep in a proper bed.
... Fiona, this might be hard for you to hear, but please listen carefully.
It may be possible that this world is not the world that you remember. That's why your father and mother may not be here anymore. Unfortunately, there's no way we'll be able to help you find your parents. But we will be able to protect you. Also, we are going to need your help in the future. So, what do you think about staying with us?
... I've been having this strange dream. I dreamt I was separated from my mom and dad, and everyone else, and I was all alone for a long time... But it's only a dream, right?
I think my mom and dad are gone because I was asleep all this time. I was a bad girl for not waking up when I was supposed to, even after they told me I had to get up. That's why I think they'll come back if I'm a good girl. Right?
I'll be a good girl. I'll help everyone here! So when my mom and dad come back to get me, tell them I've been a good girl, okay?
Thank you! I like you a lot. Hey, hey! You know, I'm really good at magic! Everyone always said how good I was and even said that I was the reincarnation of Varna.
Varna is the goddess of light and second only to Lenion, and was his consort. To be compared to such a powerful goddess is truly remarkable praise.
No... It's nothing. Don't worry about it.
Fiona, that's wonderful. Maybe I can learn how to use magic better from you.
Can you use magic, too?
Just a little bit.
Aina is the person who healed you and made you all better.
Really?! I was so cold for so long... I was wondering what was happening when it got warm. It was because Aina used magic on me. You're so much better at magic than I am! hey, could you teach the kind of magic you use?
If you want to learn what I know, then maybe we can study together.
Judging by the look on your face, you're less than amused by this.
I only care about the results. How those results are achieved doesn't interest me.
You may be right, but the ends doean't always justify the means. And our role in all of this is to bring things together in harmony.
If that's so, then achieve the results I desire without me having to hold your hand every step of the way.
I'll do my best.
And after that, she officially joins the party at level seven, a couple levels higher than anyone else. She's actually interesting in battle because you'd think she'd use a staff in battle, being a magical elf girl, and you're right, but she can also use swords. So, in an odd twist of fate, I may have her as a warrior in the first generation. We'll see how things develop.
We can't do much else in regards to meeting Frenseberg's residents until we complete the first 13 commissions from the Guild (completed ones are marked in green, and you can instantly take a look at which ones you've completed by hitting Select). It's not as bad as it sounds. See, take a look at request #2. That request is to hunt down 3 Vampire Bats and 5 Hornets. The following two requests, which are currently hidden, are for items dropped by both monsters via Over Kills or as a normal drop. So, it naturally stands to follow that once you complete the first request, you'll be in a position to complete the remaining requests that come right after, asking for materials dropped by the monsters you just hunted.
As you can see from the above screenshot, you also get Party Points, Gold, and Technical Points as rewards, in addition to the items. Commissions are very important, as they're your primary source of getting new books for weapons, accessories, armor, materials for synthesis for new weapons, etc. Every time you return to Frenseberg after doing something in the field, stop by the Guild and see if new requests have popped up.
Now then, there are a metric ton of minor events between various NPCs in Frensberge and our party. In the future, I'll probably make all those part of bonus videos for each update, simply because I already have a lot to cover, and this update is no exception. Major events involving the NPCs, though, will be decided on a case by case basis. Events between the generation lead and a heroine, though, I'll cover normally in the future. This update is just too chatty for much extraneous stuff, so, Meet the shopkeepers, and some extra scenes.
But the one exception I'll make this time is the weapon shop guy, since talking to him is directly related to continuing the plot. Repairing the portal
The owner is a grumpy old man, but his bark is definitely worse than his bite. Of all the shops in town, this is one I feel the most comfortable at...relatively speaking.
Just when I thought things were getting loud and obnoxious, you show up. And how many times do I have to tell you that guns are garbage compared to other weapons? If you're handle your guns like you do your womenfolk, I wouldn't have to waste time fixing your toys.
You have it all wrong. They are far more excitable than you think. The women, that is... Actually, I came in today to introduce you to a friend of mine. I'm sure you've heard of him, right?
So you're the new kid in town... Hmph, everyone around here is so nosy. Well, he seems to have more potential than you ever will. At the very least, he doesn't feel the need to natter on about nothing. So, what do you need? I'm pretty sure you didn't come here to look at pretty girls, right?
Are you skilled?
How about you open your eyes and see for yourself.
Very well. Can you strengthen this weapon?
He's referring to his golden sword.
This is... Where did you get this?
Unfortunately, I've never seen anything like it before. I can say this, though. I'd make it a point to keep it out of sight as much as possible.
Yeah. You're right.
Don't worry about it. It's been a long time since I had such a feast for the eyes. If you were planning on asking me about demons, don't. I don't know anything that'd help. However, one thing I can help you with is how to get to the other continents.
Do you think -that thing- is usable?
As far as I know. But I have no idea where it'll send you as no one's been brave enough to use it. Once you're done with your preparations, head to the back of the guild. If you have something else you need besides using -that thing-, don't hesitate to come by. If you have equipment you need strengthened, I can do that here. And if you have the right materials, I'll bang out the corresponding item. Of course the materials have to interest me in some way, or no dice.
I'll be sure to drop by again.
You do that.
Seeing that scene unlocks an affection scene at the Inn, and an event at the Domicil Portal. We'll do the Inn scene first. In the future
Not only can you use it to detect demons, but also incredibly beautiful women. With your powers, you'd be beter at my job than I am. The ultimate jack of all trades, as it were.
I play no part in the choosing of the Maidens of the Pillar. The vessel and the Maidens attract each other without any help from me.
That means... With you and Weiss around, I shouldn't have a hard time getting jobs or women, right? We make one hell of a team, don't we? Hahahahaha! Ah, um... I was just kidding around. Seriously, don't look at me like that.
Sorry about getting under your skin. I just got a little over-enthusiastic. We're cool, right?
What is this -jack of all trades- you speak of?
Huh? O-Oh, that. In simple terms, it's someone like me who does everything from pet recovery to overcoming the forces of evil... If someone asks to have it done, I'm there to do it.
Are you insinuating that, like you, I am one of these -jack of all trades-?
Ah...no, I didn't mean to say that you were... Will you PLEASE stop glaring at me? I was just trying to make an analogy.
If you value your life, you will never say such a thing again.
Holy crap, I almost forgot how to breathe there for a second. It'd be a hell of a thing to basically drown while on dry land. Also, I wonder where she learned to glare like that. It's not that I dislike arrogant and enigmatic women like her, but... Please grow up to be a nice, demure woman whose personality matches her wonderful smile, okay?
Yeah, I'll definitely be a nice lady!
I'm glad to hear that. I can't wait.
Hey, Weiss! Do you think I can grow up to be a nice lady, too?
Result for this decision is that Aina's, Jainus', and Fiona's affection level goes up. Eva's, ever the killjoy, goes down. Not like it could go any further down, but still.
Really? Hehehe... That makes me so happy! I wish I could grow up faster... You used to be little too, just like me, right?
Oh, I forgot you -are- just like me... I'm sorry...
No need to be sorry. I don't have any memories probably because they're not really necessary. Or maybe it's because I'm better off not being able to remember anything... Either way, they wouldn't help finish what I have to do. But what about you, Fiona...? Don't you ever get lonely with just us around?
How could that ever happen? It's so much fun being with all of you! I do miss my family sometimes, but... But i know that I'd miss them even more if I couldn't stay with everyone. I hope that I can live with you always. Let's stay together forever! Promise me, okay?
NOW we're finally off to the second continent. To Aegisthus
If you recognize it, I won't waste time going into details. This is a -transfer portal-. To use short, simple words; it's a device that will take you places.
By using this, you can instantly move to the corresponding transfer portal.
I know, I've used one before. Uhmmm...you can go to places that you've been before, right?
That's right. You're quite knowledgeable, Fiona.
Did you manage to fix it?
Hmph, after a few moments of -gentle- encouragement, it fired right up.
That's...how do I say this... It doesn't sound like you actually -fixed- it.
The technology it's based on has been long forgotten. I'm not sure exactly how it works, to be honest. Use it. Or don't. It's entirely up to you.
It's not like we really have any choice in the matter...
We do not have time to waste.
Man, I don't know whether those two are just incredibly brave, suicidal, or just oblivious. Errgh, whatever!
Let's go too.
What an interesting bunch. It looks like I get to use all my skills again after all this time.
In this case, there is nothing I would know that you do not.
Ever the sheltered one, our queen is. But that is an issue for another time. For now, we should stop charging blindly ahead, don't you think?
If it works as described, we should be able to return to town at any time, correct? And if that is so, what, exactly, is your problem?
Well, yeah...since you put it that way...
This is... Considering the climate and topography, I'd guess that we've been sent to Aegisthus. I believe the mountain range over there in the distance is the Groza Mountains.
Yet another unpleasant occurance among many. To think that we've been sent to Aegisthus, of all places.
Is there something wrong with this place?
No, not in particular... Aegisthus is pretty much all deserts and mountains, so living here is a pain compared to Lucrellia.
When compared with other continents, here and Fendias are incredibly difficult places to live. It'd be nice if there was a town somewhere close by...
Come on, let's scout out the area.
After that scene, the game actually becomes slightly non-linear for a bit. You can either continue on into Aegisthus and get wrapped up in events there for a bit, or you can return to Lucrellia and continue with events beginning in the Great Iliya Forest. I'm opting to do the latter, but it doesn't matter much either way.
I apologize for the somewhat hurried tone the last half of this update gives off. I'll talk about what the shopkeeps in Frensberge do for us at the start of next update. That I promise.