Part 38: Bonus Chapter, Part 2
I thought you were dead!
That wasn't the real me.
It was a copy made by Hector. I never went to Yggdrasil. Never even went to Riviera. The last time I saw you was at Heaven's Gate.
No. I AM dead, moron. Of course I'm dead. Why else would I be here?
I don't exactly know where "here" is, so I couldn't say.
No. This is the Underworld. Okay? Land of the dead. The birthing place of demons. An entirely different plane of existence from Riviera. It's not somewhere you can just stumble across by accident. You do not get here by taking a wrong turn at Albuquerque. So I'm going to ask you once, and I want to hear a straight answer: How. Did. You. Get. Here?
We followed a sign!
Forget it. I don't care. Let's just go.
What do you mean "let's go"? Go where? And why are you coming?
You shouldn't be here. You'll have to find your way out sooner or later, and you'll need my help to do that. So let's go.
And just why would you want to help us all of a sudden?
Because this place was bad enough without Ein and the rest of you plebs around. The sooner you're gone, the better.
No way. After what you told us back in Yggdrasil, I trust you about as far as I can throw Cierra.
What the hell?! *I* didn't say it!
True, but that doesn't mean I don't owe you for all the other times.
Alright, look. I know that some of you might not want him around. But we don't know what we're up against down here, and I don't think we should turn down any help. Especially not after getting gimped.
I'd rather take my chances.
Okay. Let me put it this way. You can turn him away now, he'll leave, and you'll never see him again.
Sounds good to m-
However, if you agree to let him come with us and he tries anything funny, you have my permission to kick his ass. Forever.
So what's it like being dead?
Is this your first time in Hell? I came here with Fia and everyone else a while ago.
Are you sure you're not a girl? Because-
I guarantee I've got more ellipses than you've got stupid questions.
Oh, we'll see.
It's so cute that you actually believe that.
You still have your Diviner?
Huh. And they say you can't take your material possessions with you.
Sir, I'm afraid you'll have to leave the weapon behind.
It's so cute that you actually believe that.
Let's just say they're half-right.
OK. What exactly is happening here? Did I cheat Ledah into the party, or what?
Well, no. When you start the bonus chapter, you're actually given the choice of going in with your usual crew or with Ledah.
(You have to unlock this option by obtaining Rose's ending, incidentally.)
In other words, his appearance is actually semi-canon. However, if you do choose Ledah, it's just you and him; the Sprites don't show up at all. What you're actually seeing here is two playthroughs that have been cleverly spliced together, allowing me to include everyone and giving me twice as much work to do!
So what's he like?
Same as ever, really. He's still got that awesome four-hit attack and the auto-regeneration, which is cool. However, he still won't use any item except Lorelei, which is...not so cool. There isn't a damn thing he can do against enemies that are resistant to fire, which means that Ein is left to pick up his slack and the slack of the non-existent third party member. It's actually a fair bit harder than the regular run.
By the way, in case you're wondering, the game doesn't really explain Ledah's presence at all. He just kind of pops up and it's business as usual from there.
I see you've recovered from your "Crimson Courreges" phase.
We don't talk about that anymore.
No. We don't.
You remember me saying that I have to S-rank battles in this chapter? The fact that you need TP to progress is one reason. This is the other. Only three TP for an S, rather than four! Similarly, you only get two for an A, one for a B and none for a C. So even if you do manage to S the first battle, you can STILL end up getting stuck on the first screen, because there are four things to examine and only one of them opens up a path.
In fact, there are four things to examine on every screen, and quite a few of them result in absolutely nothing happening.
And then there are things like this.
There is a mana wisp hidden within this boulder, but you have to examine it three times in order to get it; twice to break the boulder, and one to pick up the wisp. Why is that a problem?
Well, at some points in the main story, it is true that you have to examine a thing more than once before you get results. However, when this happens, only the first examination of the thing will cost TP. All subsequent examinations of the thing are free.
Guess what's changed in this chapter?
Though to be fair, if there's one mana wisp in the game that's worth the trouble, this is it. You get much heftier boosts from this one than you do from any of the other wisps, and with no other way to raise your stats, you're going to need them.
Imagine, for a minute, what this battle is like with Ledah.
The witch in front is resistant to fire damage, so it's going to take longer to put her down than it should. Then, once she is dead, you've got those elementals to deal with.
Notice that they are fire elementals. This means that they absorb fire damage.
Why do you keep doing that?!
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO ANYTHING ELSE
It is not the smoothest fight you will ever have.
Hey, I think I found something.
What is it?
Oh. A rock.
Well don't look at me. I don't do that anymore.
I helped him get over his rock thing. He's been going cold turkey for a couple of months now.
How on earth did you manage that?
Aversion therapy. "A kick in the rocks if you pick up a rock."
Ah. That'd do it.
Damn right. I'm thinking about writing a book, actually...
I saw that.
No you didn't.
She'll kill you, you know.
It's just one little rock. I only need one more. Then I'm good. Just one more.
It was "just one more" a week ago. And the week before that. When will it stop?
Just back off, alright? I know what I'm doing.
We're trying to help you, Ein. Don't do this. Please.
SHUT UP! SHUT UP! YOU DON'T KNOW ME!
...you're right. I don't think I do anymore.
Rose? Where are you going?
Rose! Don't leave me! ROSE!
Notice the sleeping ape in the corner there. If you can remember that far back, this is pretty much exactly the same as the one we came across in Nelde. You hit it with a sneak attack, it wakes up with half its hit points, and the ensuing battle is basically free TP.
Look at this! A red chest!
Red? I'm not sure that's a good sign.
Is that supposed to put me off?
No. I just want to make sure I can say "I told you so."
Hah! Right into our trap, you fools!
You will be the fifth group of saps to die here! Shoot to kill, sisters!
Okay. Where's the treasure, though?
...are you deaf or something? I just said this was a trap.
Yeah, I get that it was a trap. I know how traps work. I want to know where the treasure is.
There IS no treasure, you idiot!
So you're saying you deliberately left a chest out here...an empty chest...just so that you could ambush us.
What do you think, hmm? A few more?
A few more indeed.
Lina...don't you think that's enough? I'm pretty sure she's sorry.
NOT SORRY ENOUGH! SHE WILL NEVER BE SORRY ENOUGH!
Yes. Okay. Whatever you say.
HEEEERE'S YOUR OINTMENT!
OK. As you can probably imagine, that magic circle is your ticket to the next screen. You examine it, and...
It runs away, and you get nowhere.
Once you've tried that, you have to examine it two more times (and fail) before Serene/Ledah manages to trick the thing by jumping at it and then flying backwards. So once again, you're down by three TP for one obstacle. Except this time it isn't optional.
Sting isn't even trying to hide the fact that they're just wasting your TP here. Even if this scene served any purpose to begin with, there's no reason why it couldn't happen all in one go.
Do I sound bitter? Probably because this is where I got stuck the first time I attempted this.
Oh, you have got to be kidding me!
What are you surprised about? You killed the Accursed, so it's only natural that you'd run into them here.
And why exactly are there two of him?
To all you haters I got somethin' to say,
You can eat it or throw it away,
Stop hatin', wishin', waitin', anticipatin' for my heat to fade!
You know you doin' good 'cause they jeaaaaAAAAARRGGHH
Yes, this dungeon features ANOTHER FUCKING BOSS GAUNTLET. However, once you beat an Accursed, you receive a couple of top-tier weapons as a reward, in addition to whatever item got dropped from the actual battle. I guess that's supposed to make up for it?
In any case, don't go using these up if you can help it. You're going to need them.
You're probably wondering what that thing lying on the ground is. It's called a Book of Memories, and it's a save point.
There's one of these on the second floor of Fia and Lina's house in Elendia, but I totally forgot to bring it up! I suppose when you have access to save states, actual in-game saves kind of become obsolete.
These books are your only way to save in this dungeon, seeing as how it's all one area. And if you think that means you can go back and save whenever you want, you're sadly mistaken, because it is impossible to backtrack.
That being said, let's take a look at that magic circle.
Alright, listen up. I don't want any trouble out of you, you hear? Just stay right there, let me step on you, we'll teleport away, and everything will be cool.
That's all well and good, but what are you actually going to do if it doesn't listen?
...we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
See? No problem.
This is not the sound of us teleporting.
Give it a minute.
Aaaany second now.
YOU SON OF A BITCH
Oh yeah. Jumping up and down with impotent rage. That'll teach it.
GOD. DAMN. WORTHLESS. PIECE OF-
Ein, that's not a magic circle.
It's just a painting that's designed to look like one. We'll have to find another way forward.
There's a path over here!
Well spotted, Lina.
...have I been bitching constantly about how much this place sucks? Because if not, I totally should have been.
(This one "only" costs you two TP.)
You could probably have worked this out for yourselves, but none of the red chests actually have any treasure in them. Just enemies.
Still, the battles are extremely easy. If you're hurting for TP, you might want to go ahead and open them anyway. But how about we deal with the real chest for now?
Get away from us, demon!
Whoa! Hey, it's okay. We're not going to-
Uh...have we met?
You don't remember us? Momo, Lolo and Lala? The battle pixies?
Oh yeah! From Yggdrasil, right? How'd you all end up down here?
How'd we get here? Gee. If I had to guess, I'd say it had something to do with you forcing us to fight for you until we exploded.
...I did that?
Yes. You did.
Well...no hard feelings, right?
Oh, I wouldn't say that. I wouldn't say that at all.
Is it too late for an apology?
After a long, painful serving of revenge...
You know, the Underworld is a cold place. Very cold. Very dark, too. And you can start a fire, and it'll be warm, but you'll still feel cold. Because it's not just in your body, you see. It's in your head. The chill. The atmosphere. The whole place. It worms its way into your head and it never lets you forget, even for a second, that you're dead. It's a little too much to bear sometimes, even for me.
So thank you for this. Because now, when it is too cold and too dark, I'll remember this moment. I will say to myself, "Ein got the shit kicked out of him by fairies." And then I'll be fine. I'll be just fine.
No problem. If someone could just pop my shoulder back into place real quick, that'd be great.
these little PS bits just don't feel the same anymore now that i don't have the whole "new items/new over skills" thing to signify the end of the update
it is a sad day