Part 5: This'll be awkwardWe've talked to everyone in the Senate, and by coincidence, the clerk we needed to see has just come back. Handy, that!
Please go on inside.
So let's go look at that list.
Sorry. We should have warned you...
Hear that, Miakis?
Yeah, we really should have been more considerate.
"Considerate," was it...?
Miakis, be nice...
Listen to your Princess, Miakis.
Right. I hope we're not interrupting anything. Can we just see it, please?
Official: Y-Yes, Lady Sialeeds! Yes, Your Highness! Right away!
So he fetches a book from the shelf and our party clusters around it.
How many entrants are there in all?
Official: Well, let's see. We have about seventy applications here.
You'd think there would be more people interested in helping run the country, even if it means having to put up with Lym.
Official: Well, technically, we had over three hundred to start with. Minus the ex-cons, minus the men from enemy countries, minus those with mo martial arts experience...
I'm pretty sure I was just told anyone could compete. Then again, I might have hallucinated it due to a larger than recommended dose of Barows.
Whoa! You're really popular, aren't you, Princess!
Hmm... But is that really a good thing? I mean, what if they're all like Euram Barows?
Don't worry, Princess. He's one of a kind, if you ask me.
At least, I pray to whatever greater powers might be listening that this is the case. Can you imagine if there were more of him? Brr!
Official: After the final screening process, and the royal family's approval...
...the final number of competitors ought to be about thirty.
Bah! If we're allows to pick that much already, can't we just let her pick one of them? This doesn't strike me as a fair competition.
So, what kind of suckers -- er, brave warriors -- do we have?
Wow! What an amazing lineup!
Roundier Haia is the guy who hands out Falcon Runes. (How Kika got her hands on one more than a lifetime ago is anyone's guess.) This revelation is somewhat ruined by the fact that we've seen Georg hitting for quadruple damage in the very first dungeon, which is already better than the Falcon Runes we've seen. So maybe we shouldn't expect too much.
The music dies.
So he applied, too, huh...?
Anything wrong, Lady Sialeeds?
Nah... I just found a name that brings back a few memories, that's all.
See? Gizel Godwin. Lord Godwin's son.
My ex-fiancé wants to marry my niece. This'll be awkward.
Oh, right. You were little back then.
What, you didn't know either, Lyon?
It's the first I've heard of it! But I thought the last Sacred Games were sixteen years ago...?
They were. But those were for Arshtat, not me. She was the one in line for the throne. I didn't get any games.
Anyway, it's ancient history. Let's not get all flustered over some petty political match-up from years ago.
Besides, we were the ones who called it off. It wouldn't have worked out.
I've seen Gizel Godwin. Once or twice, at banquets. He looked... well, much better than Euram Barows, at least.
I've seen roadkill that looked better than Euram Barows.
Hmm... Him and aunt Sialeeds, huh?
Between "total lunatic" and "guy who used to date your aunt"... I think I'd still go with the latter. Still, this is not off to a good start.
I don't know what you're thinking, but I'm telling you it really doesn't matter anymore. Don't worry about it, okay?
Official: P-Pardon, Lady Sialeeds?!
I-I really couldn't say, Your Highness...
Probably either Gizel or Euram. They can both afford really strong champions...
You never know. Some commoner might come out of nowhere and save the day...
We'll find out when it happens. Remember what happened at the last Sacred Games? Everyone thought the finalists would be Godwin and Barows. And then, boom! Along came Ferid.
Exciting, eh, Princess?
I don't know. It still feels like it doesn't have anything to do with me. Like something out of a storybook...
Official: No, Lady Sialeeds! It was our pleasure! No bother at all! When the big list is officially complete, we'll bring it to the Sun Palace right away!
Good. Please do that.
Official: Yes, Your Highness!
And we're done.
We're not going to figure anything out until we can see them for ourselves, unless someone has gladiator trading cards with detailed stats printed on them or something.
As we head outside, a bell tolls.
Princess, you should get back to your room. It's time for your afternoon studies.
Yes... I guess you're right.
We're parting ways with Lym here no matter what we say, but telling her we'd like her to stick around makes her and Miakis like us a little more. There really aren't any hidden traps or tricks to it: treat people well, and they will think better of you. Likewise, picking the "do something about it" option is more appealing than the "durr I don't know what to do" one when you see a child about to get devoured by werewolves. And so on.
I wish she could, too, but... the Queen...
Oh yeah. Probably a good idea to stay in line for the time being. Bummer. I was all set to max out the royal credit card on cream pies and playing splat-the-noble from one of the towers.
A-ha! So even you're afraid of Arshtat the way she is now, huh, Lym?
I'm not afraid of her! Mother's strict with me. That's natural. If I don't study really, really hard, I won't ever be the Queen she is!
I want to stay with you, but it looks like I've gotta be a Princess...
*sniff* Please come see me when you can. Every second you're away--
You'll see him at dinner. Don't be such a drama queen.
Well, it's a kind of queen!
Lym is less amused.
Come on, Miakis!
And stomps off.
Yes, Princess. See you later, Prince.
I guess I'll go back, too, and get some more sleep.
Sweet dreams, Lady Sialeeds.
And so we're down to half the party we started with.
I don't know. Any ideas?
Hey, let's check out that new Rune shop! You heard about the owner? Everybody's saying she's gorgeous! You want to check her out, too, don't you, Prince?
I'm pretty sure I know what she looks like already. Only question is what kind of outlandish getup she's trying to pass off as an outfit this time around.
But Prince! Your obligation as a Prince is to "inspect" the land... and its citizens, isn't it?
You're still a creep.
Um... Kyle? The Prince said he's not interested, so don't try to force him...
Lyon, this is a necessary step in the Prince's growth into manhood!
I got nothing.
Jeez, cut it out already! *sigh* ...I give up. Let's go and get this over with.
All right! Now that everybody's in agreement, let's go, Prince!
Kyle, I kind of hate you now.
He puts the moves on every young woman he sees! One must draw the line somewhere!
Kind of hate you a lot, actually.
Anyway, we're in Sol-Falena now, and it comes with its own music. We should probably look around for a bit.
East of the palace, there's a smith.
It works the same way it always has. Moving on!
Apparently, they met while Her Majesty was traveling abroad. She was still a princess then, of course. And they've been in love ever since. Commander Ferid didn't have the backing of a faction. But he entered the Sacred Games and completely took them by storm! I was still a young girl back then, and just hearing about it made my heart leap!
I might just stop pointing out these "Ferid is a colossal badass" dialogues. I think we've all got the point by now.
Why not, Prince? What's wrong with me? Why can't I be Queen?
I don't know but if you wear a dress like me then you can at least look like a queen.
And that's something.
Is it true?! Is that idiot son of Lord Barows really the favorite to win the Sacred Games? Darn it! We can't have our Princess marry some loser like him!
I like him.
How about you, Your Highness? Got your eye on anyone special in the Queen's Knights? Er... Sorry. That was a stupid thing to ask...
Hm? Is there a problem?
No, no, it's just I'm stuck in a town that's full of perverts and assholes and I can't get out. Help me loot the place.
(Actually there's not much loot to be had and what there is rather sucks, so I'm not going to show it off.)
There's also a trading post!
Frey needs more sodium in his diet.
But no one could outshine Her Majesty or Lady Sialeeds!
Assholes and perverts, the lot of them.
The inn is quite pointless since we have a free one in Frey's room, but...
I'd like to see what he can do with that beard. Heh heh heh.
You know what, let's just move on.
What do you think, Your Highness? She's not really that difficult, is she?
Yes. Yes, she is. Ask Lym. Ask anyone.
Here's a pub. Hey, that's one way to explain your interchangable NPCs, I guess...
But Queen Falzrahm wasn't the best of queens, and her husband, Kauss, had about as much clout as a mouse. Even so, Queen Arshtat and Lady Sialeeds have both grown up to be fine women. Yup, fine women indeed! I don't mean to be rude, but it's kind of like a donkey giving birth to a dragon horse!
Did you just call my mother a dragon horse? Should I be insulted?
Her Majesty's done everything she can to help widows like me, and orphans as well. So... I can't understand why our gentle Queen would do that to Lordlake.
Not enough sodium in her diet. We're working on it.
Sol-Falena has item and armour stores, but like the loot, it's nothing impressive. The badges are overpriced and kinda shit as well.
This is so cool! It's really you!
No autographs, peasant.
The ladies will be after you before you know it! I'd better stake my claim before any of them get to you! Heh, heh!
please protect me from the crazy lady
Sir Galleon is far too old, Sir Zahak is too surly, and Sir Kyle is too fickle. But Commander Ferid is wild and exciting and honorable and, well, just perfect! Except he's married, sadly. Oh! But I think Sir Georg is still single, correct, Your Highness! He seems so stern and old-fashioned, but also generous, open-minded, and mysterious too. Isn't he wonderful? Just a glimpse of his eye patch gets me all hot and bothered!
But we can't put this off forever.
(I can try, though!)
So let's see what we've got.
Vendor: Welcome to--
Queen's Knights... and the Prince?! Oh, my goodness! H-Have you come to shop for Runes?!
Now I feel bad. We got him all excited for nothing, and I barely have any money.
Hey, take it easy. Relax. We just want to ask you something...
Where's that really hot girl that works here?
Kyle just gives no fucks.
Vendor: Pardon me?
*sigh* You, too, huh? Even the Prince and a Queen's Knight...
The owner is off today.
Oh, come on! Are you serious?
We're sorry to have bothered you.
Vendor: No, that's all right. It's just... This is a Rune shop, not a club or a sideshow. No one ever buys anything here, they just come to... look!
As predicted, I have nowhere near enough for anything that's actually worth buying. All we can do is head back out again.
Huh, maybe this trip wasn't a complete waste after all. Something fishy is going on!
???: What did you just say to me?!
Townsman: Hey! Somebody's going to get hurt! Quit it!
Hey, Prince, I'm gonna go check this out. Lyon, can you watch him for a minute?
Oh, you did not just say that.
All she can do is try to keep up.
Yes, that's me. (music)
What's going on?!
We could have opted to wait here, and Kyle would have wrapped this up on his own, but that way we don't get money or EXP for beating them up. So that's obviously the wrong answer.
Thug: No one talks bad about the Queen! Not in our town! We're gonna kill ya!
At least they're fighting for a "noble cause," eh? Your Highness, how do you want to handle this?
Finally, an outlet for all that pent-up aggression!
Plan? We kick their butts and take their stuff, that's the plan in its entirety!
Thug: Hey! Who are you guys?!
Thug: Who cares?! Let's get 'em!
Kyle comes with a water rune.
The water rune comes with an AoE attack.
Oh, and Kyle also starts at level 20.
And then we loot them for 600 Potch. Much better than sitting on the sidelines!
Thug: What's with these guys...? They're pretty damn tough...
Actually no, it's more that you guys are incredibly weak.
Not bad, Lyon!
You didn't think I got to be the Prince's bodyguard just because of my sparkling eyes, did you?
Well that was fun. Should we pour some water on them and see if we can do it again?
Thug: Is that really the real Prince?!
Off we go, then. They can take it from here.
So the guards tie up the thugs and drag them off to jail.
Patrol Guard: Yeah, yeah. I heard you. Now, shut up.
Seems like this one is the Bad Cop.
Thug: Nooo! They're gonna get us for treason! Nooooo!!!
...I think I heard it was Alenia's turn to be the Good Cop.
Patrol Guard: Just shut up and get walking!
You're pretty much fucked.
Apparently, those guys with the swords were ex-mercenaries from Stormfist. They got smashed at the tavern and started bad-mouthing the Queen. That pissed off some other customers, and there you have it.
Oh, yeah. I asked them to keep quiet about the Prince stepping in to stop them. They're not gonna say a word. Unless they WANT to be accused of treason...
They were wrong to insult the Queen, but that's no reason to start a brawl...
It's not just the nobles on edge these days. That kind of tension always spills out into the streets.
Prince, we don't want anything else to happen. Should we head back?
What? I totally want something else to happen! Don't try to tell me you didn't enjoy that. It was like FWOOSH! And then they all fell over! Hilarious.
Yeah. That beautiful Rune mistress isn't around today, anyway...
...and then you have to go and ruin it.
Okay. Fine. We'll go home.
After I talk to this guard over here.
Some lawless ruffians have been causing trouble in the streets around here. I was just looking into it. A witness told me you were the one to stop them, Your Highness. Is that true?
Shh... That's supposed to be a secret!
Really need to work on the mask part of "masked stranger".
Patrol Guard: O-Oh! I see. Sorry, Your Highness. Forgive my impertinence!
Kyle is a lot more annoying than you are and he's still alive so I guess that means you're forgiven.
Speaking of which, it's about time we went back and put him back in his cage, so...
We get a nice view of the palace as we enter...
...and a scene.
Lady-in-Waiting: Y-Yes, certainly, Your Majesty.
Arshtat, I'm here!
Poor dear... I thought you'd look like this...
Like what? Do I really look that bad?
No, of course not. You're as beautiful as ever. I still wish I could just freeze time and stare at your face... But all I see is worry now.
Are you worried about Frey?
Yes, both of the children... and Sialeeds, too. I'm a terrible sister, I'm a worse mother...
Arshtat, you know that's not true.
Visiting Lordlake -- in my place -- that must have been such an ordeal for Frey... I had such kind words prepared for his welcome home... And look what I did! Look at what I said to him! To my sister, to my Knights... I couldn't control myself!
It comes out of nowhere, Ferid. It takes me over... Just like that time two years ago...
The Sun Rune. Just like we thought.
Yes... The old legends say the Sun Rune seduces its possessor's soul. I didn't believe it. I couldn't afford to. But now...
You should just have that Rune removed once and for all!
...I know, I know. You can't, right?
Not yet. If I had it removed right now, I'd be playing right into Lord Godwin's hands. It wasn't to punish Lordlake that I took the Rune up in the first place, after all...
But I did. I lost control, used it, and I was wrong, completely wrong. I am prepared to live with that responsibility.
But my children shouldn't have to suffer for my sins...
Our children, your sister... They're strong. Have faith in them.
But I really am a terrible sister, a terrible mother... Here I am, blessed with such a wonderful husband and children... And what thanks do I give? I forbid my sister to marry. I try to marry my daughter off to some noble's son whether she likes it or not...
That's all part of being the Queen of Falena, my dear.
Of course, if it's more than you can bear, we can always run off in the night... Surely I have what it takes to feed my family, even without all the gold and jewels...
Not with Lord Godwin hungering for the throne. We can't let Falena fall to the likes of him!
Later that evening...
...Frey and Lyon watch the sun set over Sol-Falena. (music)
I promise to protect you, now and always, no matter what.
I'm sure you're going to be taking on even more important duties in the future. I don't want you to have to do anything dangerous, but there will probably be times when you can't avoid it.
If you came here with less than 10 Lyon points, you get a different version of this scene.
When I saw how Lordlake and the town were, I started feeling uneasy. Like everyday life wasn't going to keep on going on like before... Like something was about to happen...
I guess I'll be fine, then.
From there on,
...it ends in the same way.
I can't say I prefer one scene over the other; they both have their ups and downs.