The Let's Play Archive

Rondo of Swords

by Einander

Part 64: Premonition

Chapter 31: Premonition
(Or, "If You See This, You're On the Path For the Full Ending")

As the alternate title suggests, you can see this stage only if you purified the Holy Blade in the previous stage.

Errands are available again! Alicia can finally promote.

After cheating in her Seal and another Battle Proof, anyway. Owl subs in.

Altrius learns Invoke Might 1-3, adding 6 attack; combined with the +18 of the Holy Blade, he's gotten a rather noticeable jump in damage. He's actually the highest-leveled character I have right now, thanks largely to never leaving (or being Hurt or a healer, like Izuna or Marie).

Sasha learns Null ZOC 4 and Foresight 2. Izuna learns Lion Strike 1 and Persistence 1 (chance of not dying when killed). Owl learns Rear Blow 1-4 and Blind Rage 1, which might just provide enough power to let him one-shot mages without a critical. I'm feeling optimistic!

What on earth is down there...?

This stage is tiny.

Seriously, that's it.

All the Mages are the same.

There's a single War Mage, but he's not really a boss or anything.

The threat here is that you'll run into a firing zone and just get one character annihilated. Fire Raid isn't the strongest spell, but it's fairly powerful for its level, and by mage standards this level is very dense.

That said, they're made of tissue paper. Even Owl should be able to one-shot them if he hits them from the back, and Izuna's the same giant bulls-eye as ever. This stage should take about four turns tops if there's no tricks with reinforcements.

That said, there's still four conversations to do.

Igraine and Galahad

It was Mephreyu... nothing he does is good.
I should have killed him when he ogled you, Princess.
Did you say something, Grandpa?
No, Princess, it was nothing.

If nothing else, Altrius probably has Galahad's self-restraint to thank for his present existence, so there's that. Mephreyu did have a hand in creating him.

Arios and Alicia

Oh, hello, Alicia. My field of expertise, hmm? Yes, that's certainly true. There's one thing it could be...
What is it?
This castle, Luruze, has been passed down since the time of the Holy King Altrius.

So is Arios saying that the castle existed before Altrius (the First), and the Holy King was one of the people who passed it down, or that he created it and passed it down?
I wouldn't be surprised if there was something here they wanted.
...Master Arios.
Hmm? What's the matter?
I haven't had the first idea what you've been talking about this entire time. I'm... not as well-versed in these matters as you may think. So if you could, please try to explain it more simply.
Master Arios? Did I say something to offend you?

I see. It's all right, just try to explain everything as thoroughly as you can.
Th-This is awkward...

They jumped the gun a bit on Alicia's interjection -- they should have had him say something longer and more technical, so that her request for clarification didn't seem so premature. Arios's reaction, though... Is it really that rare for someone to 1) care about what he's saying and 2) actually request clarifiation? That's kind of sad.

Owl and Rukia

I think they're more your ilk.
Hmm... I don't think so. They don't feel like thieves breaking in... more like burglars trying to escape.
You can tell?
It's just a gut feeling. The question is... what have those guys been up to until now?
You don't know?
How would I!? I don't know the first thing when it comes to the Order!
Well, just tell me what your gut says.

So that "gut feeling" wasn't a guess at all...?

The last three conversations seem focused on showing characters out of their usual niche, like Galahad or Rukia's usual goofy incompetence or Arios's aloofness. This conversation, meanwhile, is a lot less unconventional.

Aegil and Elmer

Insolent brat! What do you want?
Hmph. What in the world's going on here?
I have no way of knowing. At a guess, some remaining insurgents were trying to escape under cover of darkness, but...
Yeah, I'm sure it was nothing more than that... Sheesh. Some help you are. I should have asked that Order girl, or Master Arios. Not some stuck-up shrimp. You couldn't even put on your robes without an attendant.
Listen, Elmer...

Of course, there's a reason some classics are classics.

On to the map.

Remember when I said Owl could probably one-shot them from the back with Rear Blow 4?

Oh, youthful optimism.

No one else can reach turn 1, so they all advance.

Between his two +6 Magic Rings, Wisdom Lock, Invoke Mind, and the North Medal, Selmer is utterly unimpressed by these enemy mages. Similarly, Izuna takes two fireballs and regenerates most of it right back; doing 150 damage a turn just isn't good enough when a character regenerates 90.

Even promoted, Owl is 0 for 3 on criticals so far.

That's fine, though. I didn't really want him to, not when he was there to set up for Sasha.

I had no real strategic reason for doing this. It just seemed like an amusing idea.

Abyss Gate is scarier, but there's still only one of him.

Another one tries Hell Warrior. The results are impressive, but not quite in the way they intended.

The rest go after Altrius, Izuna, and Sasha, and two-thirds of those regenerate. It's basically pointless.

Sasha splats one with Duelist and Lateral Blow.

This is gratutious and unnecessary. It's also really funny. Approved!

War Mages have bizarrely low HP, less than even a Mage of equivalent level. Look at their growths and you'll see that Mages actually have a 30 HP (3.0 per level) growth and War Mages a 24 -- why they felt the need to downgrade like that I don't know.

If you get this kill, Owl, the map should end this turn. You just need to critical once.

Yaaaaaaaaay Owl!

Sadly, though, Owl's valiant effort wasn't quite enough for a Complete Victory. Two turns, then? Maybe if you use Alhambra with Sprint, but... That's really the only way. Alberich isn't strong enough to kill them in one hit, even if he's just as fast. Maybe if you stick a whole bunch of Griffin Rings or South Medals on.

Looks like a pagan altar to me.
Pagan? No, no... It belongs to the Church of Valen. Although it's been utterly debased and destroyed...
It seems to have been quite the impressive structure... I wonder if it was used as a seal.

Well, bugger.
Not the whole Order... Just Mephreyu. Raine never wanted this to happen!
Regardless, we must go after Mephreyu.
But there are still remnants of the Imperial Army in Bretwalde...

The first real consequence of Route A! Last time, in Route B, Serdic moved fast enough that Mephreyu didn't have time to break the seal. The Darkness broke loose to some degree, of course, but only as the Sword of Darkness -- the Sword isn't nearly so strong a threat to the world in general.

Now its full force is loose and Altrius has only a half-healed Spanta to face it with. Oops.

Total resets since chapter 20: 4 (+0)

Next time:
Siege Defense