Part 23: Chapter XXII: To Follow The Grandfather
Meet Grey, our final protagonist. Weiss and Schwarz were White and Black (in German), respectively, so the grandson can only be named one thing if we're going to keep the color theme going. I guess they could have gone with Grau, but I dunno. That just sounds dumb for someone's name.
He's a...dour fellow. He is as different from his father as his father was to Weiss. Grey is very reserved, quiet, mellow, and makes Weiss look like the life of the party. Unlike his father, he is completely devoted to the mission he has been given, almost obsessed with destroying the remaining demons who are holding Chaos' power. He is fully prepared to give up his life to resurrect the god, but at the same time, is plagued with pounding headaches because the power of a mighty god is housed within the vessel of a mortal. It's not a great life to be leading, but Grey's strength is such that any sacrifice is worth it to fulfill his family's obligation.
What do you mean, -what's wrong-?! Everyone's gathered together already.
Liel (her full name is Lieselotte) is the child of Ignis and Cynthia. Although she constantly calls Grey "brother", they are most certainly not related.
I see... It seems that it is later than I thought.
Is there something wrong with you? You're normally the first one out of bed and waiting. Are you sick or something?
I think my fatigue may have finally caught up with me. I'm all right. Please go and tell everyone that I will be ready to leave soon.
Are you really okay?
I see...that's fine then. We'll be waiting downstairs, so hurry up.
That dream again... Normally that dream wakes me from a sound sleep, but didn't it do so today...? ...
It's pretty rare for you to sleep in... I take it you were having a -pleasant- dream, as it were?
You're about half right. You wouldn't be so eager to wake up from a -pleasant- dream, would you?
You're probably right.
More importantly, have you learned any new information regarding the demons?
Nothing concrete, but there has been word that a demon has appeared in the Dajlua Wetlands. The only way to confirm whether the information is accurate or not is to go there ourselves.
Well, this is certainly an early choice for the third generation's first choice. This choice increases Eva's and Ignis' affection, but the most important part is that Eva has finally hit level 4 affection! Her face is smiling now!
If there's nothing more to be learned here, all that's left for us to do is head there and see for ourselves.
We could wait around here and hope for confirmation, but it'd be faster just to go and see.
Jainus and Jude haven't changed appearance at all, but both make sense in-story. Jainus has Danaos' artifact, which prevents aging, and Jude's mother is a dark elf. Since one of the typical traits of elves is that they live much, much longer than humans, it makes perfect sense why he doesn't look a day older.
Let's head to the Dajlua Wetlands now. Everyone, go get ready.
It's helpful that you're so compliant, unlike your father, Schwarz.
I'm not doing any of this for you. I am simply paying off the debt passed down from my grandfather.
That is all to the good. I have never asked that you do anything for me.
My responsibility is to hunt down demons in order to revive the god, nothing more.
It appears that this one received an upbringing suitable to his role.
Meet the new Fiona, quite unlike the old Fiona. Not only has her voice and appearance changed, but also her personality. She is constantly worried about Grey, as she's already seen the entire short life of his father. She wants Grey to live as a human being, not a machine. For all her problems with Schwarz, she was always cognizant that he was himself and acting like he wanted to.
She wants Grey to find something concrete to cling onto in life, but he constantly thinks of himself first as a vessel and not as a person. No matter how hard Grey pushes himself, and no matter what pain he has to endure, he never changes.
I know you chose to interact with him like that intentionally, but we are all a -family-, you know?
I care not about what you think of my actions. I have never considered any of you to be -family-, as you put it. Weiss, Schwarz, and now Grey; they will never be anything to me other than vessels for the god's power. You'd do well to remember that.
I see you're being an even bigger bitch than usual. Just ignore her.
No, it's just as Eva says. I am truly grateful for the guidance she has provided all this time. Kindness and compassion lead to weakness. Like my father, I cannot let myself indulge in such things. I must stay strong in order to fulfill the mission that was thrust upon me.
You're really more of the caring older sister than nurturing mother...no, that's not quite right. It's probably more accurate to say you guys are more like childhood friends. And, at least to my eyes, you've really grown to be a fine woman, Fiona. Oops. I didn't mean for that to sound quite so sleazy, okay?
If you don't want to keep sounding like a total idiot, try thinking before you open your mouth. Your ability to accept this situation is much better than Schwarz's. However, he was far more -human- than you, and despite his rage was compassionate in his own way. You really don't have to keep acting so detached. Humans, as a whole, are pretty useless to begin with. There's no need to see yourself as just a -tool-. Don't throw away the feelings that make you -human-. That's not only our hope for you, but that of your parents as well.
I do not have the time to live my life as a -human-. If there is any time left to me after all is said and done, I will think more about it then.
Liel, how many times must I repeat myself? This is no place for you. Go back to your mother at once.
Let me guess: it's because this place is the -town of lost souls-, right?
No, that's not it at all.
I know that! That's why I've been training as hard as I have. I haven't gotten in anyone's way yet. And of all people, you should know just how good I am, right? Father, you've repeatedly told me to become someone who is capable of helping others. To not just isolate myself like other guardians, but to be the sword and shield for those who need it.
Looks like you've lost this round, Ignis. I know that you want to keep your precious daughter safe, but you have to let her go someday. You can't do everything for her forever.
I know that!
Then accept the inevitable. Granted, she is still young, but you can't question her fighting abilities. If you're still worried about her safety, you can still keep an eye out for her. I guarantee you'll be much less stressed out if she's with us as opposed to being off on her own. Especially since she's your only daughter, right?
Both you and Mother told me to be there for other people. I'll try even harder to get stronger, so can I come with you? Come on, please?!
Where did you get that stubborn streak of yours?
I'm going to go out on a limb and say you.
You always have to say one word too many, don't you? It is not something for me to decide, however. That responsibility lies with you and Grey. But as I have said many times before, what we're doing isn't a game. You have seen for yourself what happens to people who die at the hands of demons. To let your guard down even once is to invite disaster. Do not forget that. Now, go get ready.
Okay, I'm going to go meet up with Grey!
Still trying to lie to yourself, just as always.
Naw, he's just calmed down a little.
Now then, we should probably finish up our preparations before we get a tongue lashing.
And thus, the third generation officially begins. Now, because this is the final generation, it doesn't *technically* end. There's no point where the game officially transitions from the third generation to another part of the game, but there is one scene in particular where I'll say "This is where the third generation ends, and the post-game begins". Of course, I can't say what it is now.
After that scene, Grey and Liel join the party (at level 58, putting them just behind Eva and Jainus, who are tied for first at level 59). Grey is a straight warrior, much like Schwarz, but uses Knuckles, like Weiss. His growth in STR, VIT, AGI, and DEX is tremendous, but for INT and MND his growth will be tragic.
First off, I'd advise switching Grey's Original Skills around. He starts out with Lost Drive in the L1 slot and Crime Zero in the R1 slot. Lost Drive's additional effect inflicts a bunch of status effects (that's what it says, at least. Never seems to work), and Crime Zero's effect is to increase the target's Wait time. Switched around, Zero decreases all target stats, and Drive reduces the target's AP. Zero is a single-target attack, where Drive is a group.
I dunno, just my preference. Grey ended up with four pretty good EX Skills. Fighting Spirit (significantly increases AP gain), Ambition (significantly increases SP gain), Anger (nice bump to physical attack power), and Rile (goes without saying). And the team I'm rolling with for now (Grey, Mervina, Fiona, and Eva) is what the game calls Team Grey, and one of the open commissions right now is to complete 15 battles with them.
However, there are some troubles. Right now, I have very little TP. Mervina, Grey, and Eva are fairly up to date with additional skills, so I'm not terribly worried about their ability to support the team. Fiona, however, hasn't been used since Vanessa and Yumil joined last generation, so she's pretty far behind (she doesn't even have a fourth EX Skill). I don't have any TP at all to outfit Liel, so she's just going to be warming the bench for a bit.
But we're definitely in a better spot than we were at the start of the second generation. Then, we only had five party members. Now, we have 12. But, the game wants to throw us into the breach really early on, as there's a pretty tough demon hunt as the first event of the generation.
The demon is located near the Gai Desert, but it might be faster to get here from the Gaja Portal, as there's a whole little maze from Gai's eastern exit until you can actually get here. Anyway, I'm taking a bit of a risk by bringing Fiona into this fight, but I figure we can muddle through. Weiss is tagging along to teach his grandson a little thing about the way of the fist. For some specific advice, trick out your melee fighters with Thunder Emperors, as a large portion of the Ring Dragon's attacks are Lightning-based.
Along those same lines, equip your dudes with stuff like Paralysis resistance, and just in general status effect-resisting stuff (like the conversion item from the Bracelet of Feiuchi). Trust me, you're going to need it. Versus Neo Ring Dragon
Your first targets are the squishy Revenants. These little bastards can and will make your life hell with status effects like Sleep, Paralysis, Poison, and Blindness. You don't need that crap, do you? Oh, and the Ring Dragon doesn't have any physical or magical counterattacks, so you don't need to be worried about any of that.
Also, I really like punchy fist Grey's animations. Weiss is really flashy, and Ignis is really deliberate, but Grey is fast and brutal, delivering sucker punches, uppercuts, and everything in-between. I mean, for Double Edge, he does a quick jab to the stomach, and then a punch to the face.
Arc-En-Ciel (French for "rainbow") is definitely one of the game's best spells. It has a blast radius that goes three squares in any direction (one square larger than most spells), debuffs the enemy completely, and has an absurdly high Break value, even at level one. At level three, it has more Break value than Original skills. However, we're not quite to the point where we can use a level 3 Arc-En-Ciel, but we're betting close.
You know what we've got here? We have three characters who can activate their desperation EX skills. I cannot believe Eva survived the Shadow Fenrir's last attack, but she did. She did indeed. Now it's party time, before the Ring Dragon activates Iron Wall again. Hate that skill.
You might notice, if you watch the video, this Brave Storm is a little more elaborate than it it usually is. Well, when level one Original Skills become level two Original Skills, and vice versa, the first Original Skill's animation actually changes. For a Brave Storm worth only one Ultimate Point, Weiss just rushes forward, knocks the target(s) into the air, then dashes through the targets, causing an explosion.
With a Brave Storm taking two Ultimate Points, Weiss dashes forward, knocks the target(s) into the air, blasts into the sky, rushing after the enemy, before finishing off with a mighty slash, and landing back on the ground to inflict one last hit. The reason we want to use such a potent move against the Neo Ring Dragon is that his Break gauge is incredibly high. Like, without Genius, I cannot break him in a normal attack. The Break value of a level two Original Skill is in a totally different ballpark than a level one. For example, Crime Zero at a level one has a break value of about 5200 or so. Lost Drive as a level two's break value is 23,000. The difference cannot be more obvious.
Also, even though Brave Storm is a Fire-based skill (which the Ring Dragon is strong against), it changes to Void as a level two.
Luckily, this Soul Crush just narrowly managed to kill the Ring Dragon, meaning my biggest problem is over. The Shadow Fenrir annoyingly held out a bit longer, but things could only go one way after the big boy was gone.
Jesus Christ! That payout was like twice as good as any fight in the second generation. Regardless, we did good work today.
But before we head to Dajlua, we've got quite a few things to take care of. There's a number of commissions to do. The one I'm highlighting is for using Felenne and Victoria's Aerial Raid Finish Strike, 15 Battles with Team Grey is next, then 9 Basilisks and 9 Revenants (these guys can be found just outside Frensberge and in Graccea), Mosubohs can be found in any of new three areas in the Wetlands (so you have to go there, but not fight the boss), 2 Thunder Wings (from Thunder Birds in Nenan's Flurry) and 1 Encyclopedia (from the Magic Lords in Thermidor), and I need to elaborate a bit for 381.
The item needed for 381 can only be found at this location in Thermidor Temple, from clearing the battle there (you can see Grey's sprite standing on the battle point), and finally, 3 Chicken Eggs and 3 Squid Tentacles. That's a doozy. There is one last one that, I think, is the only commission you can actually lock yourself out of completing. It calls on you to use three advanced spells (it says Revive, Resurrection, and Vivicate, but it actually wants you to use Resurrection, Rejuvinate, and Vivicate).
By the way, commission 169 totally spoils the fact that Georg will be joining the party this generation. Oops.
You need to get Ultimate Arts 5 and have someone use it. While it's certainly not necessary to have only one character with all three spells, I've always opted for Fiona carrying that water. It can be a real pain to have all three spells on at once, and the only neat one out of that batch is Vivicate, which revives a fallen ally right after they get killed, without you needing to use a Blessed Leaf.
Just two problems: it costs an incredible 64 CP to assign it to a character, and costs 40 AP to use. Yeah, not exactly handy. I just use these three spells for this commission and never use them again, because there seriously is no point to using these over more convenient options. Another reward from completing this batch is that you unlock the third group of Rank 4 Skills, but the cost of even buying a single book is 3000 TP. Pretty pricy. Oh, and we get a short bonus video.
But now it's time to actually get around to that demon. The locations west of the Event spot are where you can find Mosubohs. Maiden of Light
Ah, Sofia. One of my favorite characters in the game, and it's for one big reason: she's well-dressed. For a female character in this game, she is showing virtually no skin, and just looks like she's super comfortable in those robes. Besides, it's just a very appealing character design altogether, and I can definitely dig her personality.
It pains me to have to ask you to do something like this... But this is something that only you can do. Think of it a duty required of a guardian, if it'll help.
I understand. Everything is by the will of the gods...
The will of the gods... To have to sacrifice as many as those who believe, is quite a cruel thing. However, we have no other choice but to continue on as we have. And... And even if it means throwing away our very way of life, still we must obey as guardians.
The light that enveloped me that day must have been a prophecy from the gods themselves. This is something that only I can do.
There is no need for you to make your decision in haste. Be sure to consider all available options first. Understood?
I will do as you say. I must begin my preparations, so if you'll excuse me, I will be leaving now.
This world cannot be preserved without sacrifice... I wonder how many people truly understand that... I only pray that the seeds of sacrifice that have been planted one day bear fruit. And that the light of the divine will be there to welcome you at the end, Sofia.
The main enemy here is the Neo Dragon Warrior. After the Neo Ring Dragon, this guy and his two Revenant buddies are a cakewalk (they even got Grey into critical on the first turn, and since he is, by far, the fastest member of my team, guess what?)
This guy and his pals lasted about as long as Danaos did, and I brought Jainus and Jude along specifically for Crisis Heaven, which has the same costs as Carnage Disaster did (1 SP, 1 Ultimate Point). It's a pretty nifty Finish Strike, I gotta say. Some nice father and son teaming up.
Well, certainly not as big as last time, but another decisive win. Rile is simply incredible. It can do about 3-4 turns worth of damage at all at once. It can be a bit unpredictable to activate, especially since if you don't abuse counterattacks you're at the mercy of something unexpected happening, but you know whatever. I'm not complaining.
It's not only their numbers that are the problem. They've been getting stronger as well.
It's cute how the game justifies enemies getting stronger over the course of the game. And I don't mean that sarcastically or anything. They actually do justify it in-story that ever since the Day of Light, the demon problem is only getting worse and worse, and it would follow that as more time passes, the stronger our foes would become. It's actually a really nice bit of gameplay and story integration.
At least we have the cooperation of the guardians...
But at the rate they're multiplying, we won't be able to deal with them even with the guardians' help. It's only a matter of time.
Grey, are you all right?
Yeah... I'm all right...
Well, at the very least, we made the right choice. You should just rest here for a while. We will take care of anything.
This is nothing-- Urgh!
Lie down so that I can use my magic to heal you.
Shouldn't we be trying to pace ourselves a little better?
Perhaps... Although it may be more accurate to say that we've been somewhat lackadaisical up until now. But even with that said, we have been filling the vessel much quicker than I would have expected.
I do not share that sentiment at all. And his pain is very much like when Weiss and Schwarz... I am certain that his symptoms are the same the others had before they died.
Is there something you wish to say?
I just... No...it's nothing...
You would do well to not speak when not asked to do so. You are just so much useless baggage to me. I would strongly recommend that you learn your place and then stay there. Once Grey has sufficiently recovered we will head back. Have your preparations completed before then.
So he's in near constant pain, he has to fight more and more powerful demons to fulfill his obligation, he feels he has no time to rest, and he's at the breaking point from fatigue. There's no way Grey's going to have a happy ending...