Part 20: Chapter XIX: To Hunt The CulpritWe're not going to be hearing from ol' Helshaft for a long time, but I can't exactly blame the party. Anyway, there's a scene right afterwards that basically points you toward Gideon's cave as the next place to go, also Schwarz got Fiona to heal Mervina's wounds, and she swore we'd meet again as foes. I'm sure we will.
Anyway, there's a nice Vanessa scene in the Wetlands. I can't help but feel this should have been after the next couple boss battles, but oh well. Responsibility
What are you so pissed off about?
Well, it IS my -goddamned business-. Your moping is starting to get on my nerves.
Aren't you the least bit bothered what you did to Yumil?
It's not like there were a whole lot of alternatives available. Why, do you think that there was a better way?
Seeing as you don't have a family, you probably can't understand what she's going through.
You're right, I can't. To be blunt, I don't want to.
What a surprise. It's like that as soon as you were born, your conscience died. I guess that's why you can kill people without even a tinge of guilt.
You're right. I suppose you want me to bow down and thank the gods above for that, huh? If it looks like a demon, I won't hesitate to cut it down, even if that demon was once human. And even if I didn't kill him, without a real artifact he wouldn't have lasted much longer anyway. If you look at it that way, it doesn't make me seem like anything but a common murderer. But then, so what? All I did was make sure that I didn't become just another one of his victims. Even if it was for only a short time, he was able to live thanks to the power of that artifact. And honestly, I'd like to think I did him a favor by returning him to his original form before he died. In fact, I think that I'm owed something here.
You are the worst kind of degenerate lowlife pile of shit.
You are a shining example of why I hate hypocrites. You are in no position to-
I'm in no position to -what-?
No, finish your thought. I insist.
Shut the hell up. I have no desire to continue this.
I suppose that might indeed be true. It's not like you killed people by your own hand, but in a way you are responsible for their deaths.
Come again? Do you think I'm just going to let that comment slide? You don't know what you're talking about. When and where did I kill any other human beings, directly or otherwise?
I see that you need a reminder about your past.
Hey, that's enough of that crap.
Your parents died after being attacked by a demon, but it was you who lured it in the first place.
I've already heard that joke before and it wasn't funny the first time. Let's pretend you know what you're talking about and I did attract it. How, exactly, did I do that?
Demons are attracted to the power of the god that resides in you. This is what drew the demon to you. If you remember the first time we met, you were being attacked by demons, were you not?
That's because...they just happened to be in the area at the time. Besides, if I were a demon magnet, wouldn't they appear every time I went out anywhere? They'd just as easily show up right here and now, but funny, there doesn't seem to be any around.
Of course they're not here right now; don't be stupid. I doubt they'd come all this way just for you.
Now you're just making things up.
No matter how you wish to twist it, the truth will always remain. The fact that it was your latent power that attracted the demon that killed your parents will not change. It if wasn't for you, your parents would probably still be alive.
That's a lie! There's no way in hell I lured that demon to...! You're lying!
Then feel free to disregard everything I've just said. Only if it doesn't resonate with you in some way, of course.
No... There's no way...
Even Schwarz knows when to keep his mouth shut. Vanessa's, Jude's and Li Ra-Lua's affection increases for showing some restraint here.
You've got to be kidding me! I will never accept such a thing! I did not draw that demon anywhere, nor do I have the power of your precious god!
There's no one to blame. Neither you nor I were given a choice in the matter. You aren't at fault here, even if you do choose to accept it.
Shut the hell up! I... I...!
You've done all but admit to it already...
She should have been aware for quite some time now that her powers attract demons, and that because of her, her parents' lives were taken by that demon she hunts.
Seriously, there's this thing called compassion. You should try it.
EVA0 Are you implying that I should've somehow softened the truth in order to spare the feelings of others? Nothing I could have said would have changed the truth of the matter. Both you and Vanessa would do well to accept the reality of the situation.
Fiona should be able to calm Vanessa for the time being. And as long as Vanessa becomes a Maiden of the Pillar, I care not for how she thinks or feels.
Damn... You make it sound like it's such an easy thing to do... There would be far less suffering if people could change the way they think so easily...
But, of course standing in our way is another couple bosses (the game warns you about it, to be fair). And that's right: five bosses right in a line. Glory of steel
Isn't this place a little out of the way for a leisurely stroll?
Being as old as I am, you may indeed be right. However, one should never neglect to train their legs.
Good for you. So, were you looking for someone to talk with while on your walk?
Yes, I'm always looking for someone. Someone to cross swords with.
So much for that whole -with age comes wisdom- thing. How do you expect to take on all of us at once?
There are many ways to approach a fight.
I personally don't remember doing anything to piss you off, though.
To draw one's sword in anger is something only a fool would do. The reason why I choose to wield my sword is simply because I wish to test my strength against others. For it is -strength- that forms the foundation of all living things. And it is from that foundation of strength the purity of righteousness springs. In the end, it is the strong who survive and the weak who are vanquished and die. It is the goal of those who are alive to see how far they can push themselves, how much they can endure, while always striving to become stronger until the day they die.
To make a long story short; you've been waiting around just to fight against us?
Yes, that is the truth of the matter. For formality's sake, I shall say it is because I took on a commission.
So you teamed up with that Danaos bastard.
I do not -team up- with anyone. I have simply chosen to take a commission of a client. I will be more than happy to use it as a reason to fight against you, though.
That decision is not yours to make. I will decide what happens now.
I see, so you've become tired of living, huh? All right, choose your spot. I'll be sure that you rest in peace, forever!
Georg is pretty easy. Once again, he has no buddies and no reinforcements, and an easily exploited weakness. He does have some really nice things to steal, though, so you better have sticky fingers coming into this fight.
The one hiccup in this fight was that he hit three of my dudes with Rebellious Blade, which of course is a group attack. I didn't want to Finish Strike him, because with just under half of his HP left, I was pretty sure it wouldn't kill him. Doesn't kill me to wait, though, since everyone's HP is restored after this fight in preparation for the next one. How nice.
An acceptable performance, I suppose. Anyway, just wait until you see how the next fight plays out. It's tremendous.
You are as skilled as I expected you to be... No, you're far more skilled than I would haev believed. However... It's obviously that you have taken me lightly.
You're a cocky old bastard, aren't you?
This commission ends here.
So says you. I'll be nice and forgive you. All you have to do is get on your knees and beg for your life.
I place no value on my life, for it has none. However, wouldn't it be better for you to use it instead?
It seems that we have company.
Allow me to defeat this creature as an apology.
Move. That demon is mine.
You'd better move unless you want to get shot in the back. She has a grudge against that demon.
Is that so...? There is nothing more foolish than to fight for revenge.
Do you want to die?
Very well, there is nothing to be gained from fighting a demon of this magnitude.
Then get the hell out of my way already. I won't let you get away this time...
This fight is a lot like the Rasta fight, but there are a few differences. One difference is that Vanessa's demon gets 10,000 HP back a turn, and he has a buddy in the form of a Death Bringer, which is an oversized scorpion. He is very easy to kill.
But, these two have made a critical error: getting Weiss into critical, and funnily enough I have two SP to activate Rile. This is going to be a bloodbath.
This is the result of a single combo, albeit one with a Finish Strike. I wonder if Hazard Strike might have resulted in this guy getting killed in one combo. Oh well, he's really hurting.
Although a Furious Blow nailed three of my dudes, an unbelievable two turn boss fight + Gospel gives me an incredible outcome. This is the power of Rile, and of Weiss, the man whose hands are stained by the blood of the divine. Goddamn that fight felt good.
Are you satisfied?
There is nothing emptier than revenge, as it does nothing to help you to move forward.
What do you know about anything, old man?
I speak of only things I am knowledgable about, and stay silent regarding those I don't. No... There is nothing in my life that would relate to your experiences. However, just as you have reached an end of sorts, so must I do the same. And as I am still alive, I wish to fight against you in the future.
Sorry, but I don't have the time or desire to play with you. Like you, I have my own shit to deal with. Actually... If you manage to stay alive a while longer, once I'm dead and gone feel free to kick my kid around.
Father of the year material here.
Yes... It truly seems that we all have our own challenges to overcome. I look forward to our next encounter.
I don't plan on ever seeing you again.
Is it really alright letting him go like this?
I'm pretty sure he'll stay out of our way from now on. Like the old man asked, are you satisfied?
Just as gramps pointed out, it didn't really seem all that tough. We don't have the time to wallow in sentimentality.
I know. Let's go.
The tough girl act is impressive and all, but if you want I'll lend you a shoulder to cry on later.
Quit screwing around. I'd rather die in a fire than accept sympathy from you.
She really hates your guts.
Awesome. It'll be that much better once I break her to my will.
Really, when it comes to being stubborn, those two are exactly the same.
They may actually end up being perfect for each other.
What's wrong? You're as pale as a ghost.
It is nothing.
I wonder what's wrong with her...
As the proxy to the gods, she isn't a god herself. Even the mighty Eva can get tired on occasion. It's nothing to worry about.
You might be right...
Or is he? Likely not, but we can always wait and see. Anyway, onto Gideon's cave, to apprise him of this series of events. The price of the artifact
It looks there are more further in.
What happened here?
If you want to know, keep moving.
We should proceed with caution.
Who did this to you?
Spare me the insults, old man.
Please hold on. I can use my magic to-
Don't bother. It's not as if you'll be able to cure my illness along with these wounds. At this point, the only difference is whether I die now or a little later.
Where is Danaos?
What is it?
It is a token proving one's skill as a blacksmith. Give it to Gordon...
I understand. We will past it on to him.
Where is he? Damn it, answer me.
A volcano in Aegisthus... The Calicai Volcano... What does Danaos plan on doing there?
Who...knows... I just wanted to make...an artifact... I have...no regrets...
You have the moral responsibility to continue living so that you may atone for your sins. You must use your hands and your skills to create things that will help others, not to make artifacts.
Hmph... I don't care about others... Artifacts are everything to me... *Cough* *Cough*
Please try to hold on!
To die from disease or from the stroke of a blade, I wonder which is the heavier punishment...
Does it matter? Dead is dead.
Yeah... In the end, this may have been my fate to die here... Artifacts...they become one with their users, giving them incredible power and everlasting life... However, once removed from the owner's body, those benefits immediately go away... If you want to stop Danaos, use your sword to cut off his arm and- *Cough* *Cough*
Please don't talk anymore!
The artifact...ask Gordon about the rest of... Leave this body...to be... a part of the earth...
Gideon dies after that line.
Tch, staying alive just long enough for one final rant.
Just what is Danaos trying to do?
So he's still around...
I think it's probably just an old wives' tales, but...
If the rumor turns out to be truthful, it could become troublesome, to say the least.
We should head there as quickly as possible.
Keep your shirt on. Before we do anything we need to drop this thing off.
He's right. Also, we should be thoroughly prepared before heading to that volcano. Slow and steady wins the race, as it were.
Are we just going to leave Gideon like this?
He told us to leave his body where it dropped. In this case, we should do as he asked.
I guess so...
You should've fought. You should've taken the artifact and used it to give you the strength to make others. That you didn't is asinine. I... I will fight until my final moments. Until the very end of it all.
That's another casualty of Danaos' ambitions, but resurrecting Summerill is just not going to happen. Back in town, time for a couple bonus scenes. The highlight here is a scene where Ignis learns that the village Cynthia is from, Rancourt in Enhambre, is under attack and we need to help it out. Sounds like a plan.
Rancourt is located southeast of the Lishius temple. There is a boss fight here, but it shouldn't be too bad. To protect those important
My woman? ...Wh-Who are you calling -my- woman? Get your mind out of the gutter you-
Our bad. So, she doesn't really mean anything to you then?
Oh, we thought-
Please cease your diseased imaginings about me and Cyn- Enough of this talk! We have to get going!
After that five boss rush, the Greater Devil and pals here is an absolute joke. I just brought the boys in for some exercise.
Where is Cynthia?!
Ignis...? Ignis! It's finally over, isn't it...?
I was scared... So scared. But...
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that you'd come to save us...
I figured that you would be safe, but... I am glad that we made it here in time.
Oh, my name... You've finally called me by my name.
...I'm so glad you're safe.
Yes, thank you very much... I'm sorry for worrying you.
I wasn't worried.
I was speaking to the others, not you.
Damn, they do make a nice pair.
But I am glad that she is safe.
Now, why don't we leave those two alone for now?
After that scene, Ignis and Cynthia get married and have a kid between generations. I'm not sure how you're supposed to get that implication from the dialogue, but that is indeed what happened. Like with Jainus and Chloe, their kid becomes a party member in the third generation, but that's a few updates from now.
The next story scene is located just outside Frensberge. Although the Gideon's death scene said the next stop is Aegisthus' volcano, we can't actually go there until we see this scene. Before I knew where to go, this stumped me, as I don't know why it's here... Anyway, here goes. A cruel father
Agh! Urg! Aaaaaagh! *Pant* *Pant* *Pant* ...
Mervina is getting whipped by chains from the sound of it between lines in this scene. Danaos is a real charmer, don't you know.
I-I apologize... Aaaaaagh!
I had thought to overlook your failure this time. However... Not only were you late in returning, you presume to offer your meaningless opinions to me... Remember your place!
*Pant* *Pant* *Pant* ... B-But...was there really a need...to give that boy the false artifact...?
Since I had no intention of giving him the true artifact, a suitable equivalent was required, yes? And though it was a fake, it used many of the same materials. I was trusting to luck that he would not be turned into a demon and that he'd just gain its power.
But...he did become a demon...
That couldn't be helped. It was only a matter of time until Rasta succumbed to his illness, anyway. And thought it was just for a short time, he was able to live longer. That's all Rasta wanted in the end. Also remember that he was essentially my tool. It would've been better if he had sent Helshaft as well as Jainus and his friends to their deaths, though. I am doing what is necessary to change the world. The artifact was required to further my plans. Sacrifices to that end cannot be avoided. And in any case, there are many more that will be sacrificed to ensure that my plans come to fruition. In the face of the deaths to come, sacrificing one or two now is of no importance.
You seem discontented.
No... That is not...
You do realize that if I hadn't picked you up from the gutter, you'd be dead now, yes? I have spent a great deal of my valuable time raising you. You should be grateful.
I advise you to maintain that pose. And be sure that you never allow a look of contrition to appear on your face should you fail again. For I will not be the one to punish you. I will give you to the goblins and orcs for their -sport- instead. Remember that well.
Father, why must you abuse me so...?
So he has an adopted daughter that he abuses regularly when she fails him, he plans on resurrecting a being that fought on the same level as the Gods during their ancient war to slaughter countless people to bring forth his new world, and he gave the fake artifact to Rasta with the knowledge that Rasta would eventually end up killing much of the Yurle and it would end in his death anyway.
I think the moral of this game is love can make you do crazy things. Danaos probably is the single biggest asshole in the entire game, since he doesn't scheme toward anything that won't involve him basically being king of the world. This guy is meat.
But, we'll settle our score with him soon enough. Right now we have generation two's final demon hunt. This one's a doozy... Versus Ankorn
Although Ankorn is the biggest problem, he is joined by a buddy. However, this guy, not being the main boss, can be stunned (but not Bound) by Blast Wing. You'll definitely want to do that, because the Ankorn is very powerful, and the last thing you want is anyone helping him.
Your only real openings here are against the two Liliums that come in. They are far weaker than the two big guys, so they're good for getting Ultimate Points without wasting a lot of time against the Ravana.
One real neat thing about group stealing moves like Devil's Whispers is that you most certainly can steal from multiple targets at once. Still though, damn am I glad that Ankorn is the only one who can fight me right now.
But thanks to Rile saving my ass again, the Ankorn is toast. Now just a simple wrap up against the Ravana.
Not my finest hour, but Gospel at least salvaged something out of this. As a note about this fight, the Ravana and Ankorn both have great Over Kill items: the Rusty Ring (Ankorn), and the Rusty Bracelet (Ravana). These convert to the Mighty Ring and Aegis respectively, but it's rather hard to Over Kill these guys, especially in a tough fight like this. If you have more patience than I, you can certainly try to at least get one Over Kill, but it's not really necessary.
Especially since I didn't. I'm just going to have to make do.
There's a whoooole bunch of events in town around this time of game, so a massive bonus video. The notable ones in this batch are a nice couple of events with a 1-1 between Schwarz and Yumil in the Outskirts, and between Li Ra-Lua and Schwarz at Domicil's Great Tree (even if he is saying that he'd like Li Ra-Lua to put up more a struggle against him, so he'd have more fun having sex with her if / when it happens. He never changes.). Anyway, they are nice scenes all in all.
But now, we need to head to Aegisthus. There's a few new points in the Gai Desert leading to the base of the volcano of northern Aegisthus. In the new locations, hunt down 10 Goblin Kings and 10 Nekomatas for a commission, as well as Over Killing a Cerberus. Shouldn't be bad at all doing this. In fact, one of the jobs gives you a Quickrain, which is a shiny new gun that looks like a submachine gun. Pretty rad. You shouldn't have any open commissions, or any outstanding scenes in town. There's also another batch of Rank 4 skill books available, and I took it upon myself to outfit Eva with some spiffy new spells.
Anyway, at the base of the volcano, someone wants to meet us. I'd advise a skill set made up of turning on the lights. There are no enemies strong against Light magic in this fight, and a couple are even weak against it. A level 3 Earth Nova will do considerable damage, but as long as you have some powerful group spells you should be fine. Just don't have any Darkness spells, as they'll be useless in this fight. Change of heart
Danaos favored me with one last chance. I will see to it that you all die here and now.
Jeez, how can you not have any problems working for that son of a bitch? Especially since it seems that he sees you as nothing more than a tool to be used.
He's the one who gave you all of those scars, isn't he?
That is none of your concern.
True, that. I honestly don't give a damn what happens to you.
What do you mean by -scars-?
Her body... She is covered in an innumerable amount of scars...
And there's no way she could have gotten them by fighting, I take it?
Where is Danaos?
He is just through there. However, none of you will make it that far. Because you are all going to die here.
Is that so? I won't let you get away with making excuses this time.
You're the one who should be thinking about how you're going to beg for your life. Although the only options left to you are whether you wish to die in peace or in agony.
I'm actually happy to hear that, seeing as I can't die all that easily. Seriously, kill me if you can.
Your wish is my command!
Despite the fact we'll be fighting two Garvels in this fight, along with Mervina and two Goblin Mages, this fight is very simple. The Goblin Mage makes a very attractive first target, and group spells will also do a number on the Garvel. Attacking Mervina first is not advisable, as stocking up on Ultimate Points is pretty simple.
You may wonder why I'm increasing Schwarz's magical attack power, when he's a terrible mage. Well, I did this by accident. I meant to use Revitalize, which would have cured his Blindness, but I evidently forgot I didn't do it. It's not like a huge deal or anything, but just goes to show even I'm not above making silly mistakes.
It's a very good idea to try to rare steal from Mervina, as she has a Hermes Ring. Not only does it increase a lot of valuable stats, but it's passive effect is AP Restore++. I think it restores like 15-20 AP, depending on how many red nodes it's linked up with. By the end of the game you'll want any active party member to have AP Restore++. She also has a Blue Ribbon to nab, so it pays to be a thief.
I didn't expect Eva to survive Mervina's level two Original Skill, Nightmare Scream, but it would have been nice if she had just landed in critical, so I could activate Unleash Magic or Unleash All, but it was not to be. She almost did, too. Eva just barely got killed.
But, Mervina made a series of poor choices this turn. She and the Garvel both used their Original Skills (Photon Edge and Meditative Fist), respectively. Not only did she not kill him, but she even healed him with Photon Edge and Thunder Field (because Ignis is currently wearing the Thunder Emperor). But, at the cost of this, her Wait went up a LOT. That was her last attack.
About the only way this could have ended better is if Jude had used Gospel on the last turn before the fight ended, but Mervina and pals were annihilated. The only character they managed to kill was Eva, who was by far the squishiest member of this fight.
This whole "Fighting Schwarz" thing is just not working out for you. Time to think of betting on a different horse.
Just as I thought. That bastard tortured you again, huh?
Just kill me already!
Jeez, don't be telling me to kill you so thoughtlessly. Even if I wanted to die, I couldn't! Even if I wanted to keep living, I couldn't do that, either!
This is one of Schwarz's admirable traits: he hates it when people talk about throwing their lives away / resigning themselves to fate. Even though he HAS to, he hates seeing it happen, especially to those whose future can still be changed. Like when he talked with Yumil 1-1 in the second bonus video of this update, his anger toward Weiss isn't because Weiss killed a god and started all of this, but that Weiss resigned himself to his fate and believed in nothing else.
You want to die that badly, fine. From this day forward, your ass is mine. Never forget that whether you live or die depends solely on how I feel.
You want me to become your dog? You must be joking! If it's a choice between humiliating slavery or death, I choose to die right now! Now kill me. IF you do not have the courage to do it, then give me your sword!
Ignis' affection drops for this choice, but Vanessa's, Jainus', and Mervina's affection goes up from this choice. Not only is Mervina definitely going to be joining the party after this scene (why else would she have affection?), but Jainus becomes the first male character to hit level 6 affection.
Stop with your infernal squeaking already. Fine, consider yourself dead. However, I won't kill you just now. Your time will come only after I kill that son of a bitch Danaos. I'll be nice and let you watch him die. Once he's worm food, I'll do the same thing to you. Good deal, huh?
Do you think that he can be defeated by the likes of you? Especially since he possesses an artifact? Don't make me laugh! If you are so blind to the reality of the situation, allow me to open your eyes. If you wish to stay alive for even a little while longer, you should flee this place at once.
Weren't you listening? I can't live or die. If you say that Danaos can whack me, then I'll be more than happy to give him the chance. Though to be perfectly honest, I doubt he'll be able to.
...All right. I'll be your dog or slave or whatever you want. I'd rather meet my death at Danaos' hands, anyway.
Why are you so devoted to Danaos?
You wouldn't possibly be able to understand. The utter misery of being despised and reviled...no, to be forced to exist as an outcast... Just because you are a syrium.
But it looks like he's only delivered pain and punishment.
That's...! That is because I failed to achieve what Danaos had asked of me.
How does Danaos plan on changing the world?
If you really think that using an artifact will change the world, then you are truly a fool.
And there is a limit to how much control you can have over demons, right?
You won't be able to stop him, no matter what you do.
Then spit it out.
Danaos is... He's going to revive Summerill using the artifact so that he will destroy the world and create a new one.
Summerill?! That's absurd...
If he does something like that, the world has no hope of surviving!
That is what the artifact is for. Danaos' artifact will resonate with the one possessed by Summerill and allow him to be controlled.
The artifact Summerill possesses is called the Bracelet of the Convenant. Like The Oathsworn, it was forged by Hass Calinou and gives the user tremendous power as well as preventing aging. Actually, the first time it showed up in this series, it was in the possession of a human. Winfield in the first game basically wandered into some cave and nabbed it, hoping to use its power to destroy some demons who had killed his fiancee.
However, agents of Summerill were constantly trying to acquire the Bracelet and give it back to him, who was beginning to reawaken. If the Bracelet fell into his possession again, there would be no stopping the King of Darkness. Think the One Ring, basically.
So he will try to manipulate Summerill using that thing? That goes far beyond gross stupidity. There is no way that one such as Summerill can be swayed or controlled by a mere mortal.
Danaos possesses the power required to do so.
We'll find out soon enough. Give her the sword.
Don't be foolish! What are you thinking, handing an enemy of ours that sword?!
Don't worry about it. She knows full well that she can't defeat me, no matter what she does. If he's really that important to you, then help us stop him.
Come on, this isn't the time to be zoning out. Hurry up and show us where that degenerate is.
This way, follow me.
Thanks to Schwarz's unique brand of diplomacy, Mervina joins us for the Calicai Volcano, the final party member and dungeon of the second generation, respectively. You know what? Mervina is the first character who can use both swords and greatswords on this playthrough