Part 65: Stars of Destiny
Last time we found out that Gizel is not only a terrible parent-killing Nazi, but he also made Miakis cry. There will be no mercy when we catch up with this asshole
While Frey fights his most serious duel so far, Sialeeds hurries to close the rear exit...
Damn! Did they get away?!
...but having to make her way around the entire fortress to get there, it doesn't seem like she made it in time.
???: ...Well, well.
Everyone suddenly wishes she had taken a few more detours.
I thought as much...
Such things are of great interest to a Rune mistress.
Well, if that was your doing, I shall have to accept it. But what of the others? Did you try them?
In case you need more reasons to hate Zerase, she seems to know shit about Jeane and she's not sharing.
No luck with the Sun Rune.
I see... If you failed, then I doubt anyone could succeed.
Still, it seems the House of Godwin is confident that they'll find a way.
And finally, at last...
...we are back in Salzburg again.
Now that the town has settled down, it would seem that our takeover was a success.
Still, I never expected Alenia to come bearing the Twilight Rune. I wish we'd captured her.
Consequences of Lucretia not anticipating this major turn of events:
No, no, no! Everything is Gizel's fault, literally everything.
My duty had always been to guard the Princess.
...Once Gizel stole that from me, I thought the only thing I had left was the Queen's Knights.
Miakis... Are you doing okay now?
Yes! I'm a little sore, but that thrashing by the Prince has opened my eyes!
Prince, the fastest way to help the Princess is for you to win the war!
Are you shitting me? I've a good mind to reserve you a permanent spot in the party!
...Thank you so much! I'll give it everything I have!
That's not just empty talk either.
Miakis has a lot to give.
Hmmm... But what are we going to do about the Twilight Rune?
...And why didn't they ever let ME try it?! Why'd they have to go and give it to Alenia?!
I actually have to give them credit for that, at least. Put the magical WMD on the chick you can count on to blindly follow your every order, not the one making it perfectly obvious that she hates your guts.
Lady Sialeeds, are there certain qualifications necessary to bear the Twilight Rune?
I don't really know myself.
Well, it's not like there aren't other people to ask around here.
Yes, but extracting information from Zerase has proved... exceedingly difficult.
Prince, let's ask Zerase one last time. We need to find out what she knows.
...It's frightening to think about how little we truly understand!
Frey is up for that. If nothing else, it's going to annoy her a whole lot.
We'll be doing that soon.
If I had known it would come to this, I would've taken possession of the Rune myself. Then, at least, Arshtat would still be alive, and Falena wouldn't be facing a civil war.
Oh, I'm sure Gizel would have found some way to fuck it up for us.
Huh. I expected them to put the Twilight Rune to better use.
As always, though, the general incompetence of the Godwin faction is one of the biggest letdowns. Just in that one encounter, they lost a stronghold, another Queen's Knight, and the element of surprise from the Twilight Rune. It would have been a lot more impressive if they actually did something useful occasionally.
Normally, this is where we'd be taking the opportunity to go catch 'em all (again), but this time we're waiting for a kind of important plot event. Today, all we'll be doing is taking a walk around the castle.
We will, however, return before long. We plan to resume publication in time to cover the next big military operation. Thank you for your patience, loyal readers.
Presumably this showed up in the brief time before confirming the invasion of Doraat. However, true to their word, there's now another issue covering the Doraat events.
The Dawn Times - Issue 9 posted:
Front Page - Prince Proves Military Superiority posted:Pushing his forces into Doraat, a strategic position for the Godwin faction, the Prince succeeded in capturing the city. In the middle of the battle, the people of Doraat threw open the castle gates, which contributed greatly to the Godwin Army's defeat.
The news of the Queen's Knights setting fire to Lelcar had spread throughout the Queendom so, wanting to avoid a similar fate, the people of Doraat were probably trying to evacuate as quickly as possible.
With the capture of Doraat, His Royal Highness is now in control of more than two-thirds of Falena. The Iodine in Hell Army holds an overwhelming advantage over the Godwin faction.
Back Page - Twilight Rune Used posted:The siege on Doraat ended in triumph for the Prince, but "The Dawn Times" has learned that the Godwin faction, in its desperation for victory, brought the sacred Twilight Rune into battle. The Queen's Knight Alenia held the Rune, but was unable to handle its power, nearly causing the Rune to go berserk.
The Prince's forces have strongly condemned this action. Not being Falenan royalty, it is blasphemous for the Godwin faction to bring the Twilight Rune -- a sacred symbol of the Royal House of Falena -- onto the battlefield.
Serials - Portraits of the Enemy: Alenia posted:This time, "Portraits of the Enemy" takes a look at the traitorous Queen's Knight Alenia, who recently carried the Twilight Rune into battle during the siege of Doraat.
Her father, also a Queen's Knight, trained her with a blade. When he fell in battle during the Armes invasion, Alenia said that he "died because he was weak." Thus, she hates for anyone to imply that she is following in her father's footsteps or trying to avenge his death.
For some time, she has made no secret of her strong affinity for the Godwin faction -- or rather, the Godwin family itself. This affinity is thought to be the reason for her betrayal, unlike Zahak and his unshakable convictions. Indeed, Alenia seems to often act based on emotion rather than logic.
As do all women because .
We keep handing over "baby" fish, so it takes a while for them to grow big enough to eat. Now we have carp, salmon, and eel available.
And fucking finally Retso gets his butt in gear. Seriously dude, you don't know a single vegetarian recipe? Nothing using any meat other than fish? You need a lot more practice if you're going to be an influence in Hai Yo's life one day.
Even now that he does cook for us, he still doesn't have anything too terribly exciting.
More interestingly, you can also see our Island Nations pals hanging around to the south.
So, this is how battles are fought in Falena... I see I have much to learn.
If that's your idea of a good army unit, you certainly do!
After spending time in a castle like this, I don't think I'll ever want to leave. Normally, we're lucky to find a spare shack we can sleep in. This is most comfortable, Your Highness.
Stay as long as you like. At least until I win the freakin' war
While in Falena, I am entirely at your disposal, Your Highness! Whatever you want me to do, just give the order!
First order, never say anything like that unless you're absolutely certain Kyle can't hear it.
Very little has actually changed around the place, and we don't have any new mail either.
So let's go pester Zerase.
...I hadn't planned on revealing this much, but it seems I have no choice now. Now that the Twilight Rune has been used, we must quickly--
Annoying robed sorceresses, now in stereo! (She also has her own theme song, which may sound familiar.)
Wh-Who are you?!
Please, forgive me, for my sudden intrusion. My name is... Leknaat. I am the guardian of the True Runes.
Aren't you supposed to be cowering in fear of Windy's rage at the magician's isle in Toran about now?
Yeah, you know, like that thing that's a symbol of our entire queendom. Those things.
Of the twenty-seven True Runes, the Sun Rune has always shown itself to be especially powerful.
Actually all the True Runes are supposed to be equally powerful. So basically what she's trying to say is that the Sun Rune is especially loud about it.
"HEY GUYS LOOK WHAT I CAN DO"
"You showed us yesterday!"
"And the day before that!"
it's the rune of change okay
Not terribly hard to understand why Night wanted a divorce.
It even burned an entire kingdom to the ground in a single night -- a kingdom that once thrived on this very land. And because of its unique power, it took that barren wasteland and restored it to the fertile, green land it is today.
This is one of those things that came up much earlier. Some people were saying how True Runes usually have a dual nature, but the Sun Rune "only" represents one thing. The way that works, obviously, is that the "thing" it represents is already a dual nature. There's no need to invent a secondary aspect for it.
If you're wondering why I'm "talking over" Leknaat, it's because she's been pretty pointless since the first game.
The destiny of the Sun Rune -- and all that depend on it -- has been set in motion. You, the host of the Dawn Rune... You and your friends have placed yourselves in the path of that destiny.
Nowhere near as bad as in IV, though. She's actually about to do something useful this time!
(Also, you have a video to watch if you want the full experience.)
You traveler of the night and bearer of stars... You can see them, can't you? The stars that guide people's destinies?
What, are you trying to give me an order?
...is how we get this thing. The "stone tablet of promise" wasn't even present in IV; we just wrote everyone's names down on the ship's walls. All the others have had a slab of rock for this purpose, though.
But please remember this: The stars are only guides.
Destiny does not determine a person's future. 'Tis a person's will that determines destiny.
This actually goes somewhat against the theme of the series. Generally the impression has been that destiny is very much A Thing and it's usually not very nice. For people to overcome it is something that takes serious effort, generally represented by gathering the full 108 Stars in one place. She makes it sound a lot more here.
And then she bamfs out.
That was the element of Plot in its pure form.
Prince, do you have any idea?
No ruffled feathers here!
Actually, the dialogue here is exactly the same regardless of which choice you make.
I'll say no more. In fact, I think she said more than enough already.
You're still a bitch.
Oh... I see.
I'll say. We learned a big fat nothing today.
Like she says, she won't say anything else. Attempting to talk to Zerase instead gets us this thing, where we can look at the people we have recruited, and obsessively count how many we haven't pick up yet (it's 30).
As I've pointed out before, Frey is the Tenkai Star, which basically means Big Boss. All the others also have names, but none of this actually matters.
We can't really do anything with it. We'll just have to leave again.
Ah, I didn't know you were here, too, Miakis. It's great to s--
What are YOU doing here?!
Miakis! What are you doing?! Put down your weapon, please!
Ah, I bet she just wants to spar with her old pal Georg! Get in a little training session bef--
NO! I'd heard rumors you were conspiring with the Prince... but I didn't want to believe it!
That whole thing was a Godwin plot!
...You're wrong, Lyon. I... I saw it myself!
Georg... She must be mistaken, right? She couldn't have seen you kill Her Majesty!
...Georg, please something! Anything!
Out of the way, Lyon! He's MINE!
Lyon! Let me at him! He'll PAY for what he did! He'll PAY for betraying Falena!
Miakis, wait! Please!! You have to believe me! Georg is on our side!
No, Lyon... YOU have to believe ME.
Please! Georg! Geoooooooorg!!
Only you can deliver what you promised.
Good. Have a safe trip.
I bet Gizel had it all planned. He knew I'd end up on your side. He knew I'd tell you the truth about Her Majesty's death. And he knew that would throw everything into chaos. He had me go to Doraat, and I played right into his hands. I didn't have a clue. Forgive me, Prince...
...But even so, I saw Georg kill the Queen. I'm not lying, Prince! You have to believe me!
I would slit my own throat as I stand before you to atone for my own ineptness!
Enough hyperbole, Alenia. Raise your head. I'll send for a Rune master later.
It seems the Twilight Rune is unstable. I'm sorry, but it must be removed.
Your Commandership! No! I shall not fail you again! I will show you my true character! I will show my true valor!
You need not glare at me so. This is not punishment, Alenia. However, it is not in Falena's interest to have soldiers bear Runes with which they are... incompatible.
I will always do what is in the best interest of my nation...
You guys talk big, but you ended up losing Doraat to the enemy! When did the great Queen's Knights and the powerful Godwin family become so utterly useless...? Just where have all your schemes and plans gotten us now?
You have every right to be angry, Your Majesty. I must admit that I, too, underestimated the rebel army. And I certainly never expected such trickery from your esteemed brother. You know, I have very little respect for dirty tactics.
You just haven't earned the loyalty of the people, that's all. Brother simply took advantage of that.
...If you guys can't get the job done, then I have no choice!
...I'll go into battle to stop the war myself!
Are you saying you would subjugate your own brother?
Need I repeat myself? The Queen of Falena must do everything she can so that her people can live in peace. No matter what risk needs to be taken. My mother taught me that. So we must do everything we can in our power, to end this war, right?
But, Your Majesty, that in no way means you have to go to the front line personally. And, of course, as your husband, I don't want to see my beloved wife go off to the battlefield.
I've already told you my wishes. That was an Imperial order from your Queen! I will not tolerate disobedience!
Well! That was quite the pile of stuff to digest. Let's go through them in order.
I had a rant about Leknaat when I played IV as well, but she really outlived her usefulness in the first game. She had her story there, and while it did have a sequel hook, that never came up again. Instead, she's suddenly the "guardian of the True Runes." Yeah, sure, tell yourself whatever helps you sleep at night I guess?
Then we have Georg. Finding out that he probably did kill the Queen after all loses a lot of impact with A, the passage of so much time, and B, the possibility being set up early in the game anyway. Plus, it was one of those glaringly obvious dangling threads that would have to get picked up before the end of the game anyway. Although it does perhaps come as a shock for some of the characters (but we don't even get to see Frey's expression because it's not a proper cutscene), it becomes more of an "oh" for the player, or maybe an "about time."
I would have appreciated Gizel's "evil plan" if it actually ended up causing more trouble for us than it does, but right now we're not much worse off than we were before and we also got The Best Character out of the whole thing. It's just not terribly effective writing.
(Side note, it's entirely possible for a game to have multiple Best Characters. Shush.)
The most interesting part of it, I find, is probably Georg trying to get Miakis to not say it. From another character, lines like saying she "probably wants to spar" may come across as being in denial, but since this is Georg, it's probably not.
Finally, Lym is clearly up to something sneaky and she gets the occasional very nice on Gizel. Will she be able to pull off her plan? Next, we... are probably going to ignore her entirely and go loot Doraat instead. But it's something to look forward to! Really.
Also, youtube's suggested tags for the last video were +Can +You +Not +Cup +Soundtrack. I thought you might like to know.
If you lose the duel against Miakis...
...you'll find that she's messed up enough that she'll outright kill you, and is the first opponent who'll simply give you a Game Over if you lose.