Part 55: Episode LI: Gleeful LaughterEpisode LI: Gleeful Laughter
The key to the Lion's Shrine reveals... a near-identical hallway but with way worse lighting and a save point. I'm not sure why we needed a save point here since Victor was the only boss. Annoyingly, there are still random battles in this hall and the corridor leading up to this one. That stupid loser Victor can't even place his boss battle properly.
Let's head in and see what villainy Rasputin is getting up to...
NEW Music: Serious Mood ~ Unrest (We're hitting all the moods and this one is villainy.)
You know it's an important cutscene when they bother to have all the warriors rendered. Especially poor Blanca, who drops out of existence with troubling regularity during cutscenes.
It is quite the handful to get a child to sleep. As you well know...
So what are you up to, Rasputin? What are you and Sapientes Gladio planning, anyway?
I'm going to be real... your theming with the claw guys and Lenny and Tits McGee here and intentions in general...? Kind of all over the place.
I've always admired Napoleon, you see.
<steps forward> So you're planning to conquer Europe!
If all Russia's resources were properly leveraged, it would be possible.
It's quite the undertaking, indeed.
Wouldn't it be wonderful? The whole world, hearkening to my voice. Each breath of mine, the ocean's tides.
No, I mean more like the last two wizards I fought wanted to do a ritual to blow-up all of Europe and then the next guy summoned an alien god to destroy the entire planet. This just feels like it's beneath me...
Do not fret. I will impress you in due time, Godslayer.
It's greedy maniacs like you, Rasputin, that start revolutions and cause innocent people to die.
It is the people themselves who cry the loudest for a change in government!
<motions to Anastasia> And I think even you should know that.
Surely you have been out on the streets and heard the random input of strangers decrying your family's decaying rule?
A sum more than zero though. Am I wrong?
...... <looks dejected>
An unbridgeable gap has opened between the people and the aristocracy. Even without me, the fire of revolution would sooner or later be lit.
I would estimate a year or two tops. If I had to guestimate I'd give it until summer of 1918 for it to boil over...
Anastasia rushes Rasputin in a rather ballsy move. However, her advance is halted by the knife-wielding Veronica.
If that's the case, then the less blood spilt, the better. Royal blood alone should be sufficient!
<struggles against Veronica>
So what do you say if we just pick up from where we left off earlier this evening, princess? I do so dislike leaving obligations unfulfilled...
<steps forward> Why, you...!
What's wrong, Godslayer?
Kill me, if you have the courage. Fight me one on one. If you win, I'll give you the prince and princess.
Okay. Get ready to lose.
Hehehe. Prepare to debate me, fool!
What? No. I'm gonna punch a hole through your stupid pointy nose.
Oh? Are we going to resort to conflict as debase as that...?
...How do you know who I am and not expect it to play out like this?
Hmph... A fair point, Godslayer.
With your heart cursed by the Mistletoe, do you really think you can defeat me?
Yuri immediately goes for it with a series of haymakers and roundhouse kicks to Rasputin, but all of his blows are blocked by an invisible electric shield.
<chuckles> How amusing. Is that the best that you can do?
That was just a warm-up. You'll see.
Fire up the boss theme and let's do this right!
Very well, but now it is my turn!
Who said we weren't already in a boss battle? And I think you'll find turn-based combat can be, as they say, a bitch...
Music: Flame of Strain to Blaze ~ Tension
Eh? What kinda attack is thaAWW SHIT!!
Hey! I remember that place! It's Kuihai Tower which was effectively the end of Disc 1 in that game. Remember that time we ditched Alice for a week in there getting tortured in favor of a Hong Kong field trip? Ahh, memories...
Ahh! Ugh! Gah!
And that's the Calios Mental Hospital where Koudelka got tortured for years and ruined Yuri's life by yelling into his head to go punch villains and become a Rude Hero.
And that's the Neam Ruins. The uhh... first one. Not to be mistaken with the Neam Ruins with the floating box puzzles we explored earlier in this game's adventure. They're like a quarter-mile away from each other. C'mon. Completely different. There's no ziggurat for summoning alien gods in the newer one.
Yuri flops onto his back unconscious.
Rasputin is LOVING this shit!
There is no magic... that can stop the power of this curse!
What about the magic of these bulging muscles?!
Joachim fucking goes for it trying to just dropkick Grigori Rasputin while he's busy being evil. Unfortunately...
Yeah... that shield that Yuri had trouble with is just a passive ability and Rasputin no-sells the attack.
Good boy Blanca too tries to go for it. However...
Yeah... Rasputin just has Force Lightning like he's Emperor Sheev Palpatine (that's the stupid first name they gave Palpatine by the way) on top of the super cutscene shield. It does not go well for Blanca either. Lucia and Gepetto opt to just not even bother attacking. There's a reason they're on the bench until further notice.
It's futile! You cannot pierce my shield.
You're a monster...!
That's right. I do have the power of a monster. I choose to accept your words as a compliment.
Music: Serious Mood ~ Unrest
You have most beautiful eyes, my dear. Your inner strength shines through them. I can see why Nicolai wanted you to join forces with him.
Among other... exemplary attributes. Hehe.
Karin, I have some news that will interest you. Your hometown, once so beautiful, is now nothing more than a smoldering ruin.
That had nothing to do with me, by the way. Just passing on wartime intel, my dear.
Rasputin turns his attention to Anastasia.
Now... let's finish this.
<shakes her head and whimpers>
Rasputin casts a spell on Anastasia which causes her to fall into a dazed stupor as her mother had been in earlier.
Veronica hands her dagger over to the bewitched Anastasia. Ms. Vera sure has made quite the jump in villainy the last couple of chapters going from cartoon villain dropping off monsters of the week before running off to now boning Rasputin, helping with a coup and promoting child murder.
One of you two do something!!
Ehh... my back is acting up again...
I couldn't possibly make it in time in these heels!
Music: Flame of Strain to Blaze ~ Tension
<looks at knife> Huh?!
Alexandra shoves her daughter out of the way and runs up to her son.
<shakes head> N-no!! It wasn't me...
Apparently, Rasputin just glued the knife to Anastasia's hand since she struggles to get rid of the dagger and just gives up in favor of crying. Dick move, guy.
All is well, Your Highness. The prince is unhurt.
Why isn't he waking up?
Hmm... I suspect a spell is at play.
<turns his attention to Yuri and Karin> Just as I thought, Anastasia was being controlled by the strangers' magic.
It was unwise to let them roam free unattended.
Wait... Wasn't it you who suggested they be permitted to stay?
Your mistaken, m'lady. My wise council would never allow such rabble into the palace.
...Oh. Yes, you're probably right.
<turns to the party> Why, you!!
Guards! Arrest them! They tried to assassinate the prince.
Four identical guards storm the room and draw their swords.
<struggles to his feet> Damn...
NOW these idiots decide to wake up...?
Despite being still mildly jacked from his latest curse flaring up, Yuri is still able to skillfully dodge any of their blows and bodies two of them with a shoulder check. Rasputin better hire better goons if his coup does succeed. These morons are embarrassing even for interchangeable mooks.
At this point, Yuri and the gang decide to book it since this encounter with Rasputin clearly isn't going in their favor.
Joachim decides that perhaps leaving Anastasia with a sorcerer actively trying to kill her and her family while being framed for attempted fratricide on the table PROBABLY should stay here alone, so he scoops her up while they flee. Your heart is in the right place, Joachim. But you did just abduct a princess and that's not going to do wonders for our already plummeting street cred in Russia.
Don't let the assassins escape! I want them hunted down and killed at once!
I'm not sure if I follow Rasputin's plan at this point what with revealing his intentions immediately to the only people trying to stop him, drugging the entire palace for an evening, framing Anastasia for attempted murder, blaming it on the party and then... letting them escape? But whatever. Dude is having a good time either way.
Video: Episode 51 Highlight Reel (You should always watch Rasputin being an evil shit.)
Prince Alexei Concept Art - Much like how Anastasia should be 14 at this point and looks/acts around 11, Alexei is supposed to be 10ish at this point and looks about six years old tops.