The Let's Play Archive

Tales of Graces f

by wdarkk

Part 3: CH3: Richard

CH3 - Richard

: Asbel returned to Lhant, but it wouldn't be so easy to see the guest from the capital.

Skit: Chronic Uncertainty

: Why?
: I heard you say you wanted to go to the capital to become a knight.
: That's right! I'm never going to succeed my father, no matter what he thinks!
: You're moving?
: Sure. Want to come live with me when you grow up?
: Yes, definitely!
: Great! I better get back to sword practice, then!
: *Cough, cough!* I hope... I hope I get to grow up...

This is one of the worst parts of the game. It's incredibly petty, but I'm annoyed by it. To advance the game, you have to go in through the window here. I don't recall them ever mentioning this window is here. It's logical that you'd look for a window here based on the house layout, but when has logic, particularly spatial logic, been useful in a JRPG?

: In the room, there was a boy.

It gets a LOT brighter in the room when Asbel opens the window. I'm not 100% sure if that's a problem with the quality of the window glass, or if it's symbolic.

: I'd complain about how clumsy she is, but a lung condition like that saps your muscle development to nothing.
: Ow...
: Are you okay?

: Hold it right there. Who are you?

: And you must be Richard from the capital.
Come on. Let's get outta here and have fun!
You've never been to Lhant, right? We can show you around!
: Leave me alone. I would prefer to stay here.
: You'd rather stay here in this dark room, all alone? Are you crazy? Don't you wanna have fun?
: I told you to leave me alone.
And don't pretend to be my friend, either.
: What did you say?
: You're only pretending to like me so you can use me later.
It's always the same. People are only nice to me when they want something for themselves.
Or when they...

: Bryce.
: It is time for your daily sword training. Please ready your equipment.
: Not today. I'm not feeling well.
: Enemies will attack whether you feel well or not. Avoiding training will only end up weakening your skills.
Are you Lord Aston's son?
These matters are no business of yours. Leave at once!
: You shouldn't make him practice if he isn't feeling well.
: Don't be a fool. My lessons are of the utmost importance, and not to be skipped for any reason.
: Then I'll take the lesson in his place!
: Asbel could tell how uncomfortable Richard was with the whole thing. Bryce was honestly a bit of a creep.
: You?
: All right, very well then. Though I fear you will end up regretting those words before long.
If you truly wish to face me, I will be waiting for you in the garden out front. See you there.

: Honestly I would never bet on Asbel backing down from anything.

: I see you've come. Shall we begin?

: I have no need to arm myself against a mere child!
: I can't fight an unarmed man. It would be shameful for a knight to do so.
: It seems our little swordsman is afraid of losing.
In that case, I must insist that Richard take this lesson after all.
: I never liked Bryce, although I didn't know him very well at all. Such transparent manipulativeness.

: Very well. Prepare yourself!

: Asbel!
: Oh... Did the little knight fall down?

: He shouldn't have said that.
: Dammit!

: So the little knight has some skill after all.

: Yes, pull a dark steel claw on a boy armed with a wooden sword. This is not the action of a supervillain.
Escort: Stop this at once!

: Whew... Real knights are strong...
: Amazing. He actually held his ground against Bryce...
: Thank you for the lesson. Also, please forgive my earlier insolence!
I hope you will let me spar with you again.
: Asbel actually sounds grown-up...
: That fight must have scrambled his brains.
: Hey, knock it off! True knights are polite and honorable. If a fellow knight agrees to train you, they deserve your thanks. Even I know that.
Escort: So you want to become a knight.
: Yes, sir! More than anything!
Escort: You have some talent with a sword. Once you get older, I wager the knights would be proud to have you.
: R-Really?!
Escort: You should be ashamed, Bryce. There is no honor in provoking a child.
: I apologize, sir.
Escort: I will take over Master Richard's training from this point forward. You may join the other guards inside.
: I understand, sir.
Escort: With your leave, Master Richard.
: That was amazing, Asbel!

: Come on, Hubert, knock it off.

: Amazing...
: Well, since the lesson is over and we're already outside, how about I show you something cool?
: What are you talking about?
: I'm gonna take him to see the flowers.
: But it's almost sundown!
: Well then, you guys should stay here. Just play dumb if Dad asks about us, okay?
: He'll never learn...
: Sophie, you go with them and make sure they don't get into any trouble, okay?
Sophie nods here, which doesn't work in a screenshot at all.

Skit: A Wild Seed Bears Fruit

: Indeed. You bested Bryce, after all.
: Is he really that big of a deal?
: He is the scion of a noble family that has produced many renowned knights. In addition, he serves as my private sword instructor.
: I imagine his ancestry was an important factor in his selection for that position.
: Oh. I...uh...that sounds pretty impressive.
: Indeed.
: *Siiiiigh...*
: What is it with you and the sighs lately?!
Honestly I don't really get that part.

Around this point I remember I really should bump the difficulty a bit. I'll probably bump it more... later. After the footage I recorded runs out.

: They arrived at the top of the meadow.

: It's beautiful.

: It would be a shame to come all the way from the capital and miss it.
: You wanted nothing more than to show me this?
: Yep. Pretty impressive, huh?

: Bromance detected.

: Bryce!
: ...Your Highness? Wait. You're Prince Richard? The son of our king?!
: I'll give credit to Asbel for a lot of things, but observational skills are a big no.
: The guards are quite frantically searching for you, my Prince. I am most disappointed that you put them through such agony.
: I apologize for the trouble, Bryce.
: No apology required. In fact, this makes things much easier for me.

: I thought today's lesson was over.
: This is no lesson, boy. This is a duel to the death. To poor Richard's death, in fact.
: What?!
: There are no guards to help you here, my Prince.
Your life is mine!
: No!

And now we have our first real boss fight.

You can just barely see a yellow outline around Bryce, that's the "Iron Stance" effect. I think JPEG makes it a little harder to see. It makes him unstaggerable and gets recast every so often. Just keep hitting him and it'll break.

His most basic attack is a claw combo.

He's got spells, though.

Inverse Pressure bugs me just because it's a little too big to jump out of in one go.

A double-jump works though.

Flame drive creates an explosion on your location, but can be dodged in one go.

Gotta admit I let myself get hit by Pressure a few times. Fortunately Sophie heals.

Also Graces has an awesome effect when you beat a boss.

: Ultimately Bryce made two crucial mistakes. First, he continued to underestimate Asbel. Second, he underestimated Sophie.

There's a trophy for killing him in under a minute, but I didn't get it because I bumped up the difficulty and didn't get into many fights, keeping my level down.

: Unfortunately Bryce wasn't their biggest problem.

: Where's Richard?

: Ironically, Richard's fear of Bryce was more dangerous than the man himself.

: The cliff?

: But of course that's not the end of the story.