Part 46: The Road Less Traveled
Yup, let's book it, girl.
The reason I love this ending (when we get to it) is that it's entirely possible in the context of the story. While Azure is a symbol, the war is shifting in our favor. Why I say Tinto seems unnecessary is that we have enough forces to take on Highland without it, and if Neclord is going to become a threat, well, we can deal with him then.
But regardless, the war could end anyway, with or without Azure.
Nanami leaves behind a note, as well as our Blinking Mirror so we can't teleport away.
Looks like we are really booking it.
Wakaba and Killey are actually here to escort us, they're not here to prevent us from leaving. Any characters you brought to Tinto that are not Viktor will do this. Let's head to Crom Village.
They believe we're responsible for the fall of Tinto.
They all instantly apologize for the misunderstanding.
Koyu's here because Klaus asked him to deliver a message.
We're kinda... leaving, man.
The loudest person in this game is you, I'm more worried about you giving it away.
: Heh, that's why I'm always saying you have to make yourself strong!! When the need arises, it's these muscles that will come in handy.
: Yes, you're right. You're amazing, Koyu.
: By the way, it's great that you managed to escape!!
: Oh, yes. When the zombies showed up in Tinto, I hid in a chest, and no one found me. At night, I snuck through a mining tunnel and escaped. I remembered the map of the mining tunnel, so I managed to get back to ground.
: That's lucky. I'm sure the 'books' you're always mentioning came in handy.
: but when I peeked out of the chest, I saw something.
Now, regularly, we wouldn't see Koyu's reaction to this. You'll only see this if you choose to run.
So we decide to stay the night.
Zombies have appeared in Crom. If you choose to fight, or escape, you'll still fight them.
Despite being undead, they still die just the same.
Yeah dude, but this town is overrun. Both Koyu and Marlowe join our convoy.
Koyu decides to stay behind to hold the enemy off.
Even if this ending is SUPER depressing, I like the fact that it mimics a lot of what we've been doing this whole game running. Except this time, people are sacrificing themselves so that we can get out of this war.
I actually think a thick ass book like that would do wonders against zombies.
The guard initially is unwilling to let us flee the scene.
But zombies are flooding Tigermouth now, too.
If you choose option 1, you'll fight even more zombies, and get a few more prompts.
Even more zombies...
EVEN MORE zombies. Afterward, Nanami says we have no choice but to escape.
It's my turn to be the stubborn one, though...
Thank god we have a stupid-powerful Rune at our disposal.
But it makes Azure sink to his knees after using it.
Nanami decides to carry her brother on her back through the pass.
Every fight, Azure is KO'd and cannot act whatsoever.
And so Nanami keeps running...
Eventually, some unknown badass steps in. We've never seen him before...
Azure comes to his sense as Georg stares off into the distance.
>>> Why did you help us?
: I don't remember drawing any swords until recently. By the way, where you planning to go, Azure?
: How do I know? Because you were yelling in such a loud voice. Is it alright for the leader of the Dinosaur Army to be hanging out here?
>>> I'm not the leader anymore.
(If you choose ... instead, and then answer that you're going someplace where there's no fighting, Georg suggests several places: The Grasslands, the Toran Republic, and the Farena Queendom, the setting for Suikoden V)
: Oh I see. If that's so, you'd better escape quickly. This is going to be a battle site again.
>>> Aren't you going to stop me?
: I was living for true meaning and promises. But, young man, with the passing of time, everything will pass as clouds pass. Even if you think there's nothing else now, you don't have to be trapped by that. You shouldn't be held back by feelings of obligation. You must follow the path you feel is right. It's better to get going soon. You don't have time to sit here and talk, do you?
Georg is a character who has absolutely no importance in S2 aside from this optional scene, but he is much more fleshed out in V.
Azure collapses again in Drakemouth. Being away from the war, running from it, battling the Bright Shield Rune's desires... it's taking its toll on him.
The scene shifts to Muse with Jowy. He's feeling the pain of his Rune as well.
: I'm sorry, I... it was selfish of me to say what I said... to throw everything away... and run away... it was selfish, wasn't it...
Nanami and Azure hear a bunch of sword-swinging outside.
: Lord Azure, isn't this enough? You must know by now. There are many people who need you... please, come back to the Dinosaur Army.
If you choose option 1, the story still continues. The game tries its hardest to hide this ending from you, so we will go against it. I'll talk about what the first option does in a later update.
: You must have seen what happened to those people who lived in all those villages. You can still say you're leaving? What about the people who believed in you?
And again, the game gives you the option to go back.
Taking this path leads to Lord Ridley's official death.
: During that battle...
Azure gets BITCHSLAPPED by Shu. Easily my favorite moment in the game.
: Azure, I've had it with lords. I'll take the penalty for that. But I want you to think of that pain as the pain of the people who believed in you. I'll say it once more, please come back to the Dinosaur Army.
After denying his request a third time, Nanami apologizes for causing him more pain, despite her initial idea being to drag him away from all of this.
He gives us one last chance, and if we agree, Flik will join us and escort us to Crom.
Our party leaves us, too.
Let's... let's leave. We're kids, we shouldn't be fighting this war.
There's no turning back.
So Azure and Nanami lived out their days in a cabin, far removed from a war they were forced into. You'll, of course, never see this screen if you play this game normally. Most players haven't even bothered to get this ending, because it requires you to deny everything you've played the game for.
The reason I love this ending is because it ties back to the idea of child soldiers and the extent to which children should be involved in war. Ultimately, Nanami spends the whole game looking for ways to get herself, Azure, and Jowy out of the war. She sees an opportunity, and against the will of all of his followers, Azure acquiesces. It's depressing, it leaves everything up in the air, but I find it to be the best ending in the game. To me, it is the most realistic because of how young these two are, and because of the circumstances of the game at this point. Sure, zombies are starting to overrun Tinto, and, soon, Two River, but the war will end at one point or another, with Highland being on the losing end.
You could say that Neclord would eventually claim the whole continent, but that's just interpretation rather than fact; the ending is so ambiguous that you could say any number of things happened. I see the ending, while not tying up all the plot ends, to be the most satisfying to me in terms of how I view Azure and Nanami's involvement in the war. Azure's had no actual sway over his destiny, until this very point. In a series all about destiny overruling decisions, it's nice to see at least ONE of these games give you the option to say, Fuck you to destiny and her bitchy, fat self.