Part 6: Chapter V: To Unify The PillarsLike I mentioned last update, we'll be returning to Lucrellia rather than getting into Aegisthus' events for a bit. Before we begin story-related content, though, time to take a look at two critical parts of gameplay.
This is the Enhance menu from the Warrior Soul blacksmithing shop. Enhancing mean that, in exchange for ores and money, the blacksmith can make your weapons, armor, and accessories stronger by increasing their stats. Each item in the game has four levels of enhancement, and once an item is at level 5, you have the opportunity to "convert" it, changing the item into something else. In this case, Magnetite, a synthesis material.
Since this is one of the rare RPGs where characters can go into battle without a weapon, if I were to convert these Bone Knuckles, Weiss would have to go into battle without a weapon. Obviously not what I want to have happen. Instead, the price of enhancing this thing costs 500 Gold, raises its ATK by 32, the MAG by 25, the HIT by 20, the Grade by 10, and gives Weiss an extra AP. All those things should be fairly obvious, except for the Grade. I'll get to that in due time. The blacksmith's other option right now is blacksmithing, funnily enough. It works how you might think. Gather smithing books from the Item Store or from commissions, and you can make more items. You also have to have the materials and money to do so.
As for the Righteous Beheading, this place is all about the Technical Points. By acquiring TP, you can buy skill books. These books are how you gain new skills, both regular ones you map to individual buttons and compound ones that involve other teammates. Now, you can't just get new skills whenever you want. Do you notice in that screenshot how there are three books in each group with a different color, like turqouise and blue? If you learn all the skills from a certain book in a certain color group, you cannot learn from the other books in the same color in the same rank (there are four ranks of skill books).
Once you learn all the skills from a book, you'll get the Skill Bonus stuff, like HP +50 and Break Resist +160, etc. Next, let's take a look at the compound skills I speak of.
So, I'm going to use Mugging as an example. As you can see, currently the level 2 version of this skill is available, as long as Weiss, Eva, and Jainus are on the field. First off, take a look at the icons on the right side of the screen. Those are your current levels for each element, and this is how you check what compound skills each character can use, and what level each skill is at. Since I don't have any characters who can reach Combo Level 4, I can't activate the most powerful version of Mugging (Downed to Stunned skill that gives you a chance of stealing an item).
Also, take a peek at the CP, currently at 51. This is the other reason you can't just assign skills willy-nilly. Each character has a certain amount of that, and it goes down depending on what support skills you equip on a character, and the attack skills. This includes both regular ones and compound skills.
Finally, one last thing to talk about, something I got kinda wrong and kinda right in Part I.5. Look at the top of the screens, with all the icons and numbers. Basically, those are the maximum skill levels for each element in regard to that particular character. For example, Weiss can equip skills that are up to General level 5, but not General Level 6. He can equip Combo level 6, Fire level 6, Wind level 6, and Darkness level 6...you get the idea. Because of what is actually available during the first generation, we won't be able to use any level 3 compound skills, but we will during the second generation. Both buying skill books and buying skills for an individual character costs TP.
Ugh...this part of the game is not my favorite, in terms of difficulty. The enemies in the second part of Iliya Forest are quite dangerous, especially if they go after cream puffs like Aina or Fiona. Blessed Leaves are very expensive at this point in the game, so, although it sounds odious, save scumming is not a bad idea. That is, if you enter a fight and a character gets KO'd, just escape and reload your save. You simply do not have enough money to charge through this area normally and accept whatever comes your way.
Make sure to enhance your equipment, both armor and weapons, to give yourself a fighting chance against some of the enemy groups here. It also wouldn't be terrible to have more characters other than Aina and Fiona able to heal. Eva is not a bad choice. Just be on the safe side, and keep your characters alive. You'll be out of the woods, so to speak, before too long. At the Astile Region point, you'll get an event. Second Pillar
If we keep moving forward, we should be able to get clear of the forest.
Hey, do you really intend on taking us to where the guardians are?
Of course. We are already in the land claimed by the Alister. We've already broken one of their taboos simply be setting foot in this area. If we don't seek permission as soon as possible, we can't complain if they decide to kill us, you know?
Yeah, you may be right, but...
(This feeling... Could it be?)
Even knowing that you risk death, you still intend on going on?
Are you of the Alister people?
I had no intention of eavesdropping. It's just that I have good ears. However, you should be more careful about what you say in public. After all, you never know who might be listening.
Um, we were all going to go talk to the guardians.
Ah, what a cute little kid. My name is Felenne. What's your name?
Fiona. It's very nice to meet you, Felenne.
If only the rest of you were as cute as her.
That's an issue that might require more in-depth observation.
Um, Felenne... We're-
No need to finish, I know exactly what you're going to say. I personally don't care, but rules are rules. The area up ahead is a very sacred place to my people. If you were introduced by another guardian, I probably could put in a good word for you.
We're looking for a demon. Have you seen any around here?
A demon... You're...?!
What's the matter? I was just asking if any demons have appeared around here.
Demons...? Ah, you meant demons! I haven't seen any myself, but I've heard reports. Actually, I was on my way to confirm them.
Is that area the sacred ground that you spoke of?
What?! You guardians are trapped in cages you built for yourselves; you have no right to claim anything.
Yeah, you're probably right on that score. My definition of -guardian- is probably much different than yours. But as I said, rules are rules. I can't allow you to go any further ahead, but I can lead you to where I was planning on going. So, do you want to tag along with me?
Is that all right?
You're hunting demons. And in this case, the more hands the better, right? We'll be heading west after leaving the western exit of the Great Iliya Forest.
There's more fights before you can follow up on Felenne's hunt. The worst enemy group you can run into is the Man Eater and Tyrant. If you get hit with a status effect (usually Poison or Sleep), just run. The same thing I said about KOs still applies. Hell, I'd advise running from these groups in the first place. Man Eaters are extremely vulnerable to Brave Storm, and Slimes also take extra damage from that move (you can tell a critical hit when the number popping up is red, and when an attack has reduced damage, the numbers popping up will be a dull blue color).
Oh, and I should talk about Felenne in battle a bit. She's alright. She uses Knuckles, like Weiss, but she's a bit weaker in every way, but only because Weiss has been getting pumped full of Party Points to make up for his current shortcomings. She does have some use right now, though, as her Original Skill, Radia Fist, is Earth-elemental, and several enemies around here are weak to that (not Man Eaters, though. They absorb Earth).
One of Felenne's abilities at the moment is called Ice Vein, which is a pretty powerful move at this point in the game. It has a pretty high break value, so it's a good move to open an assault.
After many a frustrating fight, but only because of my above advice in regards to save scumming, I finally made it to the end of the forest. Although there's another exit at the bottom of this screenshot, that's where we met Feleene, and she's not letting us go that way for now. After leaving the forest here, just head northeast to first real boss battle. Joining me in the commentary is Anoia and Raitzeno. Be advised that in the video, from 9:52 on is for the second boss battle of this update and the short ensuing scene. Memories of...
Fiona is singing off-camera.
This song...? Gah...!
Ah, Weiss. This place is just like the forest I used to play in. It feels really good, huh?
Yeah, it does... That song just now...was that you singing, Fiona?
It's a really good song, huh? I like it a lot. My mom used to sing it to me to help me go to sleep. That song- Wh-What?
Fiona, get over here!
That sword... Let me help you out.
Where is everybody else?
They're right over there.
Fiona, stay back.
It's after Fiona.
I don't know why that'd be, but it seems so. If it was just you I wouldn't waste the effort to help, but Fiona has nothing to do with any of this.
What the hell do you mean by that?
Enough talk. It doesn't seem like it'll wait for us to finish our conversation.
Felenne introduces the penultimate major battle mechanic: EX Skills. By filling out Skill Books, you acquire the corresponding EX Skill. Each character can carry four at one time, corresponding to the four levels of Skill Books. Weiss here is using Foresight, which increases Evasion rates, which turns this guy into a joke. Seriously, watch the video and see how much he misses.
Otherwise, this fellow is rather unremarkable, ghastly appearance aside. He's vulnerable to Earth, making Felenne a valuable asset here with Radia Fist. The general strategy for this fight is to pummel him until you get an Ultimate Point, soften him up with Radia Fist to break him again on your next turn, rinse and repeat. Thankfully for us, this guy can't hit the broad side of a barn while Foresight is up and Weiss is team leader. As I mention in the video, never use two Original Skills in the same offense, because you always want to leave yourself an out in-case things don't go well.
It's not like I did super well, but hey, a win is a win. I talk about a couple more EX Skill mechanics in the video, but I'll talk about a couple more here. EX Skills apply to everyone in the formation, but what happens in the event of a KO? Well, the person(s) who was KO'd lose the effect of that EX Skill, but all the survivors still have it. If you switch out a character who used an EX Skill, it still applies to everyone who remains. If you want to check at any time if an EX Skill is in effect, go to the EX skill menu and it'll be highlighted red when it's still working.
And since those skills are not tied to turns, you can presumably use all four of a character's EX Skills at once, provided you have enough points. The most expensive skills will cost 4 SP. You have to be smart about what EX Skills you can use, and which characters will have them. EX Skills can easily turn the tide of a difficult battle if used correctly. To the temple
No, I'm fine. How about you, Felenne?
I'm okay, but thank you for asking.
But why would a demon go after Fiona, of all people?
It could have just been a coincidence, but... I don't really think that's the case. There's probably a reason of some kind behind its actions.
You guys aren't half bad. To be honest, you really saved my tail.
You're being far too modest. You could've taken that demon on by yourself, right?
Yeah, I'd have to cop to that, actually. But that's not the way things went, though. I'm kind of in your debt, all things considered. So how about you all come stay at my place for a bit? I'll make sure you have a place to crash. Keep in mind that invites like this are rarely given out.
Yes, really. Maybe our meeting like this was fate.
That's an incredibly tempting offer, but...
The demon is dead. There's no reason for us to go to your village now.
That's right! Ah, and I so wanted to further discuss our future together, Felenne. But to intrude upon your good graces with such a thundering herd would be a bother. Oh cruel fate! If there is a god, there is but one boon that I'd wish granted!
A pity, that. And we have no future... Anyway, what if there are still demons lurking about?
And above all, I have no intentions of letting you leave us now.
And what is THAT supposed to mean?
That...is a story for another time.
Is it true that there are other demons in this area?
Yes, but the casualties have been minor, to say the least. The demons are mostly harmless. But even so, it's not all that great of a feeling to have them skulking around, is it?
I'm happy that you've changed your mind about coming. To get to my village, exit the Great Iliya Forest to the south and then head southwest. Let's get moving.
This is unusual for you. Normally you'd be more enthused about receiving an invitation from a woman.
What are you talking about? I'm just a little tired, that's all. I was hoping we could rest for a bit. All right then! We'd better get a move on before we're left behind. Let's get going, Weiss.
Yeah... (It felt a bit different from the last time I defeated a demon, but it held a -strong power- just like before. But when I defeated it, that -feeling- just wasn't there. What could the difference be?)
Very mysterious. We can chew on that later. As for the moment, just head to the location you met Felenne, then head just slightly southwest to the oddly named Temple of Commerce, where the Alister are headquartered. The role of the guardians
I've just heard the reports on your activities. You've done a remarkable job, Felenne. And from what I've been told, you all helped her a great deal. On behalf of my people, allow me to offer you our gratitude.
There's no need for that. Feleene's goals just happened to coincide with mine; nothing more. If you wish to show gratitude, simply tell us where the demon we seek is currently located.
That is right, you all are hunting demons. A villager who was leaving the forest happened to come across it. We are keeping an eye on it, but it seems to be unnaturally docile and we are all suspicious as to why. As for its location, it is currently in the Germina Forest, which is to the southeast of here.
I would like for Felenne to continue guiding us, if that is all right.
I have no objections, but... You have some unusual companions with you, don't you? And that young girl there, could she be...
Mister, are you an elf? They say I might be a high elf. But, what's the difference between an elf and a high elf?
Ancestors? But if I'm your ancestor, that would make me your grandma, mister.
That is true. That is why it is so difficult, yet seemingly simple.
However, to think that I would look upon a young high elf while still alive. One can learn a great deal over the course of their lifetime.
Is that so? If you wish to continue learning, you'd do well to assist us in the any way you can.
I will help you as much as is possible...and prudent. Felenne, can I count on you to guide them?
Your wish is my command.
She may not always be reliable, but she is skilled. Please utilize her talents as you see fit.
I shall do so.
Now then, please rest here for the night. When tomorrow comes, Felenne will show you where to go.
Some time later...
Elder, I have something I wish to discuss...
About your new-found companions, I suppose?
Yes... The one named Weiss, I believe that he may be one of the Sera.
I see. And what makes you think so?
A weapon such as that is incredibly rare. I think that it may be the one the Sera have been guarding.
Hm, interesting... Even now, we have yet to make contact with the Sera... Do you believe that there weren't a few who somehow managed to survive that release of magic?
Speaking of guardians; did you not notice? There are guardians, or their progeny, in that group. And as for the woman, Eva... She is in possession of powers that I have never encountered before.
So do you still give me permission to leave the village?
Right... Even in the area around us, demons of significant power have finally started to appear. There may no longer exist anywhere in this world a place that can be considered sacred ground. In fact, there may not have been such a thing as sacred ground in the first place. Those who call themselves guardians have been idle for far too long.
That is not true! We have served in our role!
Right, our role... However, what if there is more to life than simply fulfilling a role?
How could that even be possible?
I understand now. To you, the world is only what you can see with your own eyes. If that is truly the case, you should go and see the whole of the world for yourself.
Thank you very much. I shall return.
To the next boss battle, just head southeast toward the continent's coast, like Gnade said. Anoia and Raitzeno talked over this part of the update with me, until the mysterious flashback scene after the fight.
It's almost as if it's examining us.
(Again...this feeling... Just what is it...?)
It seems it has decided to fight.
(I suppose...I'll find out after we defeat it.) Let's go!
The feathery fiend is definitely stronger than the previous fight. He's stronger, faster, and just more of a pain to put down, especially since you don't get 4 free SP.
If you want to skip any animation, just hold down R2. Helps when you're having trouble with a boss fight and don't want to watch the same animations over and over again, but I probably won't use it much while recording.
Notice the yellow orb in the top left starting to glow. That means I have an Ultimate Point ready to go when I break off this attack. As I said in the video, it's kind of a waste to keep attacking when you have one ready, but it didn't end up costing me much at the end of the day.
As for enemies and Ultimate Points, it's kinda weird. When it comes to Ultimate Points, if they don't get one within a single attack, they'll wastefully attack on the next turn, and then they get one. From what I've observed of several boss fights, it seems that each individual enemy will only their Original Skills once per fight. It's not unusual for an enemy to have like 5 or 6 Ultimate Points, and not do anything with them. Oh, and the enemy will never break off an attack manually. The only thing that will stop their attacking is their target getting KO'd. The AI behaves oddly sometimes in this game, but that's probably true of all games to some extent.
Thanks to Fiona's one EX Skill, Blessing, I get additional EXP and TP because I routed the enemy while it was still active. I even did better against a stronger enemy. An agreeable outcome.
For a boss drop roundup, Neo Dragna drops a VIT Up for an Over Kill, Dragon Cell as a rare drop, the first Scorpion King (which, although it shares a name with a generic foe, is technically it's own enemy) drops an STR Up as an Over Kill, the Janbu has normal drops of a Magic Crystal Chip and a Blessed Leaf, rare drop of a Silver Bullion, and Max HP Up for an Over Kill, and finally, the Garuda's full drops are Silver Bullion and Wind Slicer (normal), Divine Branch and Speed Ring (rare), and another Wind Slicer for an Over Kill. A chief's trust
Weiss! Jeez, I hate you so much right now!
Ugh... This place... Fio...na...? What are you so angry about?
Mmnph. I've been calling for you all this time! And you didn't reply at all!
I-I see. Sorry.
What's wrong? You look pale. Are you sick?
Do you have a fever, Weiss? I didn't know you were sick... I'm sorry...
There's no need for you to apologize, Fiona. You didn't do anything wrong. I'm the one who's at fault. And don't worry about me, I'm fine. I just zoned out for a bit.
Yeah, really. See? I'm fine. Sorry about making you worry.
No, it's okay. As long as you're not hurt!
It appears that our -mission- has been accomplished.
That seems to be the case.
Felenne, shall we go back and report our success?
Yeah. It doesn't seem like we'll need to keep lookouts stationed here anymore. So, if you'd all just come along with me...
Back to the temple.
It isn't much, but please accept this as a token of our gratitude.
You might have already encountered something like this, but this is a book that holds the instructions on how to perform advanced combat techniques.
It'd be better if you were to take it with you rather than have it languish here. There are others in the world who collect the same books so that the teachings of old are not lost. If you happen to come across these folks, it'd behoove you to ask for access to their teachings.
This is a very valuable item. We will use it with great care.
Thank you for everything.
There is no need to thank me. It is the least we can offer in return for all of the help you've given us. Now...for Felenne. Please use this girl's skills as you see fit.
And what is that supposed to me, exactly?
You have realized this already just observing her up until now... But guardians can be incredibly mercurial and yet hidebound by tradition. There are so many rules that guardians are bound by. When entering the Great Iliya Forest or any place claimed by guardians, it'll help having Felenne with you. This is acceptable to you Felenne, right?
Yes. I understand what is expected of me.
Are you coming with us?
Yeah, so let's play together some more later.
It appears that we have crossed yet another task off of the list, yes?
By the way, you seem to be an excellent healer. From whom did you learn your healing techniques?
I learned from my mother. She was a healer.
You speak of her in the past tense. What has become of her?
It was something that happened a long time ago. She was attacked by demons... Before that, my father died trying to protect others from a demon attack...
My deepest apologies, for bringing up such painful memories.
No, it's all right. Please pay it no mind. It's something of the past. And now, I have everyone here with me.
I see... I shall pray to the gods to protect you. I extend my prayers to those with you, and you too, Felenne.
I'll be off now.
Yes. And be careful.
He does give you an artes book, one of the few you don't get from the Righteous Beheading. Alas, now it's time for a rather dull part of the game before we leave Lucrellia. Among the commissions you should be clearing are using all characters' Original Skills, Over Killing a Scorpion King (they're hanging out near the Temple of Commerce), finishing 10 battles with Weiss, Jainus, Fiona, and Aina, and 20 battles with Weiss, Eva, Fiona, and someone else. I recommend turning on your favorite video LP, a video LP you haven't watched before, or even a Retsupurae marathon, and clearing commissions 14-34 while listening to it.
On the plus side, it'll fill your coffers with more money, more experience, and more TP. It's not strictly grinding, but it's in the neighborhood. By clearing all those commissions, you'll unlock a ton of events in Frensberge, so, Update V bonus video. Oh, and Fiona mentions a Rem Lorient lady and a Ryulent in the scene where Weiss talks to Fiona about her singing. The only Rem Lorient in the series so far is a party member in Zero, named Apli. She appeared as a typical fairy and communed with a giant tree the first time you meet her. The Ryulent are a species of sentient, and very, very old trees. Basically an Ent. The most prominent one was a party member who joined in the second generation of the first game. Yes, Record of Agarest War is a game where you can have a tree as an ally. The scene where Jainus helps Chloe with her shop is an event required to see the True Ending.
I promised I would cover Weiss-heroine events normally, so here's an event with Felenne in town.
What, not even a -hi- for me? Whatever. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you lost your memory, right? For someone suffering from amnesia, you don't seem to have any trouble with daily life. I wonder why?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Faz told me that you're only suffering from partial memory loss and that it doens't affect your ability to function from day to day, but doesn't that seem a little too convenient, all things considered?
Is there a point to all of this?
Is your inability to understand simple ideas a part of your memory loss, or are you just an imbecile? Do I need to draw you a picture? To use short, simple words: I think you're faking your memory loss.
Eva's affection goes down, but Fiona's and Felenne's affection goes up.
Seriously, I couldn't tell you one way or the other. I'm not entirely sure that the memories I do have are even really mine.
I don't care if you remember doing it or not. It doesn't change anything.
You'll pay for what you've done. Of course, there's no punishment to match the atrocity you've committed.
Are you saying that you're going to punish me with your own hands?
I have no problem with that, actually.
There are some things that cannot be, much like the -thing- that has been lost. One of those things that cannot be is my death. If you could end my life right here and now, I'd be forever grateful. But if you haven't the capacity to kill me, then stop threatening me so cavalierly.
... Cavalierly? I will make you pay for what you did to me, no matter what... Even if it costs me my life!
Alright, now that we're done in Lucrellia, time to gather the final party member of the first generation. The event where this happens is just east of the portal from Lucrellia in Aegisthus. Third Pillar
...? Weiss, look over there!
Yeah, I see it.
Hey, what's wrong?
Those are...orcs and goblins? My god, how many are there?!
Are they working together in some manner? No, there's no way they could put aside their mutual animosity, especially in these days. I've read that arrangements like this were common in the distant past, but to see it in the present...
Another reference to the first game. In the second generation, there's a couple events where the characters observe how odd it was that orcs and goblins were working together, but both were under the thumb of greater evils.
Regardless of whether you think it possible or not, it's obvious that it's happening.
But why here, of all places...? Huh? Wha-?! Hey, we don't have the time to be blabbering away right now!
What's the matter?
It looks like there's a man and a woman in the middle of all of that. And a lot of scary demons. But maybe they're not friends? Those two look really scared.
I see, so that's what is happening.
Keep your baseless suspicions to yourself, son. Isn't helping those in need the right thing to do? Find some empathy, man.
While I'd like to avoid anything that'd do nothing more than waste our time, in this case... Weiss, go. It appears that there is someone there that will be in need of you.
Yeah, yeah! Get your ass in gear! I'm going in now!
Ah, please wait!
Fiona, Aina, don't push yourselves.
While on the battlefield, you will address me as -General-.
This is not the time to be debating protocol! If anything were to happen to you, Princess, I don't know how I'd explain to the king that-
His Majesty would have no sympathy for those who fell to insignificant demons such as these.
We're here to help!
This isn't the time for introductions. If you don't want to die, shut your mouth and draw your sword.
Argh...! You...insolent peon!
Sirus! What do you hope to accomplish by attacking the wrong opponent?! Or have you forgotten that our enemies are these demons?!
I do not know who you are, but would you be willing to lend us your strength?
Of course, that's why we're here! Let's do this!
You do have to fight an orc and a goblin, but it's painfully simple. Weiss could win by himself. Speaking of the old boy, he's using some Gold Fingers from one of the completed commissions, and Eva is using a Void Scythe, from another commission.
So that's that. Princess, are you injured?
More importantly than that, I must thank you for your assistance. You probably saved our lives.
No need to thank us. We just did what needed to be done. The world would have suffered greatly from your loss. I wouldn't have let that happen, though.
A great loss to the world... That would have been exactly the case.
Right? It is truly a momentous occasion that our opinions coincide.
Weiss, do you not think so as well?
If that is what you say, then that may be the case.
Oh right, I haven't introduced myself yet. I'm Jainus. I'm sort of a jack-of-all-trades who works out of the town of Frensberge in Lucrellia.
A...jack-of-all-trades...? Ah! That is right! Pardon my delay in introducing myself. My name is Victoria.
Princess, you should no so freely identify yourself to those who are ignorant of your lineage!
You should refrain from speaking in such a rude and fatuous tone. Or have you forgotten that these people came to our aid without fear for their safety? Is it not disrespectful, even shameful, for a knight to distrust those who seem to embrace the same ideals?
That is... But...
Master Jainus has shared with us his name without reservation. You should give your name as well. As a knight you are bound by the code of chivalry, are you not?
Yes... You may call me Sirus. I am the princess' sworn guardian.
Sirus, I believe I've told you repeatedly not to call me that.
Are you a princess, Victoria?
Er, I'm... Y-Yes...
Hey Aina, did you hear that? She's a real princess, even though she's so strong! Isn't that amazing?!
It really is.
Is it normal for goblins and orcs in this land to cooperate like that?
So that's why you were patrolling this area, then. If that is the case, why do you only have a single soldier with you?
Sirus, please do not look at me like that. I'm all too aware of what you wish to say.
It seems you have your reasons. Well, enough of that for now. If there is a princess in our midst that must mean that there is a town of some kind nearby, right? Could you show us how to get there before our own little member of royalty becomes impatient?
Yes. Standing and talking in a place like this will not do, so please let us thank you for saving us. Sirus, please go on ahead and inform the king of what has transpired. I shall guide everyone.
As you command.
We need to head south for a while and then turn west to reach the castle. It'll take some time to get there, but we should be able to make it by dinner if we leave now. Let us be off. And be sure to stay with me.